Dairying and cheesemaking originated in the Fertile Crescent during the early Neolithic and then spread widely throughout Southwest Asia and Europe. Rennet coagulated cheesemaking became a key preservation strategy for milk in these regions. A different form of dairying, based on nomadic and semi-nomadic herding, and a different form of milk preservation based on the production of dried acid coagulated and acid-heat coagulated cheeses, developed on the Eurasian steppe and is still practiced in Mongolia today. This work seeks to reconstruct the migration and evolution of dairying and cheesemaking practices from their Neolithic origin in Southwest Asia to Mongolia, and to establish the role that rapid climate change events played in this process.

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