Seeds of agriculture move back in time | Science News


Seeds of agriculture move back in time

11:12am, July 20, 2004

Researchers have already established that people living in the Middle East around 23,000 years ago fished and hunted. Excavations along the shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel now indicate that the menu for these Stone Age folk also included a plentiful portion of seeds from wild grasses along with a side of grains from wild cereals, such as wheat and barley.

This discovery pushes back by 10,000 years Homo sapiens' shift to a plant-rich diet, say Ehud Weiss of Harvard University and his coworkers. That transition in eating habits set people on the path to farming, a practice that began in the Middle East between 11,000 and 10,000 years ago, according to the researchers.

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