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A bantam is a small variety of domestic chicken, either a miniature version of a member of a standard breed, or a “true bantam” with no larger counterpart. The name derives from the town of Bantam in Java where European sailors bought the local small chickens for their shipboard supplies. Bantams may be a quarter to a third of the size of standard birds and lay similarly small eggs. They are kept by small-holders and hobbyists for egg production, use as broody hens, ornamental purposes, and showing.Archaeologists believe domestication was originally for the purpose of cockfighting, the male bird being a doughty fighter. By 4,000 years ago, chickens seem to have reached the Indus Valley and 250 years later, they arrived in Egypt. They were still used for fighting and were regarded as symbols of fertility. The Romans used them in divination, and the Egyptians made a breakthrough when they learned the difficult technique of artificial incubation. Since then, the keeping of chickens has spread around the world for the production of food with the domestic fowl being a valuable source of both eggs and meat.