An addictively free-ranging survey of the massive impact that the domesticated ungulates of the genus Ovis have had on human history.
From the plains of ancient Mesopotamia to the rolling hills of medieval England to the vast sheep farms of modern-day Australia, sheep have been central to the human story.
Starting with our Neolithic ancestors’ first forays into sheep-rearing nearly 10,000 years ago, these remarkable animals have fed us, clothed us, changed our diet and languages, helped us to win wars, decorated our homes and financed the conquest of large swathes of the earth. Enormous fortunes and new, society-changing industries have been made from the fleeces of sheep and cities shaped by shepherds’ markets and meat trading.
Sally Coulthard weaves the rich and fascinating story of sheep into a vivid and colourful tapestry, thickly threaded with engaging anecdotes and remarkable ovine facts, whose multiple strands reflect the deep penetration of these woolly animals into every aspect of human society and culture.