Agriculture's roots spread east to Iran | Science News

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Agriculture's roots spread east to Iran

Finds at ancient village extend early crop cultivation across the Fertile Crescent

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2:03pm, July 4, 2013

ANIMAL FARM  As well as cultivating and domesticating one form of wheat by 9,800  years ago, inhabitants of a newly excavated village in western Iran left behind  artifacts such as this clay animal figurine. 

Agriculture originated across a broader swath of southwestern Asia’s Fertile Crescent, and over a longer time period, than many scientists have thought, excavations in western Iran suggest.

Between 11,700 and 9,800 years ago, residents of Chogha Golan, a settlement in the foothills of Iran’s Zagros Mountains, went from cultivating wild ancestors of modern crops to growing a form of domesticated wheat called emmer, say archaeobotanist Simone Riehl of the University of Tübingen, Germany, and her colleagues. Until now, most evidence of farming’s origins came from sites 700 to 1,500 kilometers west of Chogha Golan, the scientists

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