Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Farming 23,000 Years Ago?

Previous research indicated that farming occurred approximately 12,000 years ago, but new finds at a well known site moves that date to approximately 23,000 years ago.  At the site of the Ohalo II people's camp in Israel's Rift Valley, researchers found evidence of weed species and tools associated with farming practices.  Finding evidence of seeds from so long ago is exceedingly rare due to fast decomposition.  However, this site was well protected from water and oxygen, allowing researchers to study the hunter-gatherer way of life.

Wild oat (Avena fatua) by Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration, Bugwood.org

Some of the evidence discovered were weed species associated with cultivated fields and disturbed soils and a grinding slab.  Cereal grains were found distributed around the grinding slab, scarred with markings made by harvesting tools.  Also found were sickle blades, which indicated deliberate planning of harvest.

Source Article: TAU Among International Researchers to Discover First Evidence of Farming in Mideast