Tag Archives: archeology

Early Domestication

Short articles on the early domestication of both wild wheat and figs have appeared in Science recently.

Radio-Canada’s Les Années lumière radio program and podcast describes theses results and has an interview with one of the authors of the wheat study. According to that study, wheat domestication was a slower process than previously believed, involving natural selection instead of rapid artificial selection.

The fig study explains evidence for early horticulture via vegetative propagation. According to that study, a subsistence strategy common in the Levant during the 12th millenium B.P. revolved around the mixed exploitation of wild plants and initial fig domestication.

Both studies mention barley, which was likely one of the early plants to be cultivated by human beings. Some people use such evidence to associate early farming and sedentarization with production of alcohol.