No, in the lake dwellings of the Stone Age and Bronze Age there were no chickens yet. The house chicken (Gallus domesticus) as domestic kind of the southeast Asian Bankiva chicken (Gallus gallus) can first be documented from about 2,600 BC in the Indus valley culture (Mohendscho Daro), both zoologic as iconographic. Finds from China (Ci-shan, Herbei Province and Pei-Li-Kang, Henan province) from the period between 5,900 und 5,400 BC still need to be confirmed. Unsure proofs for keeping domestic chicken in the Stone Age originate from the Tripoljeculture in the Ukrain and Modavia (4,000–3,500 BC); also in Rumania domestic chicken bones are found in late neolithic settlements. However, these east European proofs are scientifically under discussion. In Egypt, domestic chickens are known from Tutmosis III onwards (1,480–1,447 BC), they were partly imported through tribute payments, probably from Syria.
The domestic chicken reached Middle Europe in the first half of the first millenium BC in three ways:
- Through the Phoenician colonisation of the western Meditaranian via Spain/France.
- Through contacts of the early Iron Age Hallstatt culture with the eastern Plain people, namely the Skythian who knew chicken form their side from Near Asia and kept them themselves from 1,000 BC.
- Through the Greek colonisation of the western Meditaranian, namely via Italy.
In late Hallsstatt settlements like the Heuneburg at the Upper Danube near Hundersingen, Wallerfangen in the Saarland (Kr. Saalois), in a grave hill from Schirndorf in Bavaria (Kr. Schwandorf), in Switzerland in Gelterkinden (BL) and Möhlin (AG) chicken legs are found, just like at archaeological sites in Middle Germany, Moldavia (CZ) and Slovakia. From the celtic La Tène Culture, around 450 BC, the chicken is spread all over Europe, the Romans use the domestic chicken even more intensive.
Norbert Benecke, Der Mensch und seine Haustiere (Theiss Verlag Stuttgart 1994), 362–373.