Ancient Food Storage Began Well Before Farming
Monday, June 22, 2009
WASHINGTON — People were storing grain long before they learned to domesticate crops, a new study indicates.
A structure used as a food granary discovered in recent excavations in Jordan dates to about 11,300 years ago, according to a report in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
That's as much as a thousand years before people in the Middle East domesticated grain, the research team led by anthropologist Ian Kuijt of the University of Notre Dame said.
Remains of wild barley were found in the structure, indicating that the grain was collected and saved even though formal cultivation had not yet developed.
The granary was between two other structures used for grain processing and residences, discovered in excavations at Dhra', near the Dead Sea. The granary was round with walls of stone and mud. The researchers said it had a raised floor for air circulation and protection from rodents. Read More
I really think that most people believe the crops that are planted today have always been around. The fact is that humans have been genetically modifying crops and livestock for thousands of years. Most of them share very little resemblance to today’s varieties. Modifying the genetic code of plants and animals didn’t hurt humans, rather it allowed them to enjoy more reliable food sources. That very same thing is happening today. Technology is allowing us to do it faster and more efficiently than 10,000 years ago, but the principle is the same.