Cheesemaking is thought to have originated in Asia Minor and spread throughout Europe via the Roman Empire. No one knows exactly where cheese originated, but cheesemaking was widespread across Europe and the Middle East by the time of the Roman Empire, and it may have been in practice since 6000 B.C. Evidence of cheesemaking appeared in murals on Egyptian tombs from 4,000 years ago.
Cheesemaking became prevalent at the same time of the domestication of milk-producing livestock, such as sheep. Many modern cheeses, such as Parmesan, Gouda and Camembert, have originated within the past 500 years. Cheeses like Gorgonzola and Roquefort originated around 1,000 years ago.