Since the beginning of archaeology, researchers have combed the globe searching for evidence of the first domesticated crops. Painstakingly extracting charred bits of barley, wheat, millet and rice from the remains of ancient hearths and campfires, they’ve published studies contending that a particular region or country was among the first to bring some ancient grain into cultivation. Now, an international team of scientists has consolidated findings from hundreds of these studies to plot a detailed map of how ancient cereal crops spread from isolated pockets of first cultivation to become dietary staples in civilizations across the Old World. This study illustrates the current scientific consensus on the prehistoric food globalization process that transformed diets across Eurasia and Northern Africa between 7,000 and 3,500 years ago.
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