Excavations: bread already existed before agriculture

In fireplaces from the Stone Age, researchers have found remnants of bread-like foods. These were not just based on cereals.

Excavations: bread already existed before agriculture

With agriculture, people came up with idea of grinding cereals and baking bread – researchers have been doing so far. A finding will now prove that bread is significantly older: Researchers from Universities of Copenhagen, London and Cambridge have studied stone-age fireplaces in norast of Jordan and are in process of food residues up to 14,400 years old. which are bread (Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences: Arranz-Otaegui et al., 2018).

In excavation site Shubayqa 1 in Jordan, scientists investigated a total of 24 charred remains from former fire places. The analyses showed that, with ir age, food is about 4,000 years older than agriculture. The Natufier, a people of hunters and collectors, had ground wild grains and baked flat, unleavened bread cakes, researchers wrote. Blades of sickle and stone mortar found at excavation site had already suggested that bread-like foods had been produced.

In bread pancakes traces of roots were detected using electrons of microscopic examinations. Both cereal and non-cereal components seemed to have been thoroughly ground, sifted and read out, publication states. On Natufier's menu, however, bread was probably exception, researchers write: "It is very likely that cereal-based meals such as bread were only a staple when agriculture was firmly established."

Perhaps people would have started to grow cereals in first place because y had discovered baking bread, says London archaeologist Dorian Fuller in a press release: "Bread means a lot of work with removing shell, grinding grains, kneading and Baking. That it was produced before re was agriculture suggests that it was seen as something special. And desire to make more of this special food has probably contributed to decision to grow cereals. " The development of arable farming is often equated with beginning of Neolithic age.

Date Of Update: 17 July 2018, 12:02

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