How did sheep shed their wool before the emergence of humans?

They did, literally, shed their wool.

It was their fluffy winter undercoat, and, come spring, it gradually fell out – if you have cats or dogs, you’ll see this exact process happening all over your sofa and best outfits.

There is evidence that sheep were domesticated 9-11,000 years ago, and that they were being bred specifically for their wool 6,000 years ago in Iran. NB: this is what we have evidence for – sheep may have been domesticated and bred for wool earlier, but we don’t have evidence for that.

Primitive sheep still retain their ability to cast their fleece:

Wild Soay sheep mid-shed on the Island of Hirta

Quora linky.

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