Thursday, July 23, 2015

cultivation 23,000 years ago

I always understood human history started something like 10,000 years ago. 

To me it is exciting to see earlier humans making the first attempts at what today we take for granted, AGRICULTURE.

Israeli archeologists find evidence of cereal cultivation 23,000 years ago

Dig at Ohalo II prehistoric site on the shores of the Kinneret uncovers 'proto-weeds' indicating hunter-gatherers tried to cultivate wild cereals 11,000 years before the onset of agriculture.

The Ohalo II prehistoric site, which over the years has become synonymous with characteristics of the hunter-gatherers, allows researchers to study the way cereals were sown, reaped and used. Researchers found the remains of 150,000 plants, including edible grains such as wild wheat, barley and oat. Remains of starch found on a grindstone at the site shows that bread was baked there.

"The grain seeds brought to the hut were processed and grinded to flour," Prof. Weiss explained. "This flour was used to prepare dough that was baked in an oven made of flat rocks that stood outside one of the huts. Surprisingly, they worked the fields and sowed crops even at that prehistoric time, even though we have no evidence that this phenomenon continued in our area. For this reason, we consider our findings as indicative of small-scale trial cultivation rather than success which led to the beginning of farming. Furthermore, since weeds are defined by botanists as plants that developed as a result of the human cultivation, we called the plants we found at the site 'proto-weeds.'"