Bread was baked as early as 15,000. years ago. Even before the arrival of agriculture
At an archaeological site in northeastern Jordan, scientists have discovered the charred remains of bread baked 14,400 years ago. This is the oldest direct evidence of bread baking found so far. Precedes the advent of agriculture by at least 4,000 years.
Discoveries of scientistsow from the University of Copenhagen, University College London and the University of Cambridge suggest that bread production based on wild cereals may have encouraged hunter-gatherer communities to grow cerealso¿, and thus contributed to the agricultural revolution in the Neolithic period.
Researchers have found charred remains of bread at an archaeological site called Shubayqa 1, ktore associated with the Natufian culture. The find was made at an excavation conducted in the desert in ponortheastern part of Jordan. Traces of the Natufian culture’s presence have been found in several places in the Middle East. It was identified in the 1930s. last century. Scientists believe that its developmentoj fell between 10,500 and 9,000 p.n.e.
– The presence of charred food in hearths from Shubayqa 1 is a unique discovery, ktore has given us a chance to characterize food practices from 14,000 years ago. years. The results of the analysis of food remains indicate that wild woat the time cereals such as sheep, wheat and barley were ground, sifted and kneaded before being made into a dish. The discovered food remains are very similar to flatbreadsow found at archaeological sites in Europe and eastern Turkey – said Amaia Arranz Otaegui of the Copenhagen university of.
– We now know that bread-like products were produced long before the development of agriculture. The next step is to assess whether the production and consumption of bread has affected in ogole on the emergence of plant cultivation and domestication of zboż – added the researcher, the head of theowna author of the publication.
The archaeologists admitted that the Natufian culture is of great interest to them, due to the period in which theorym this community lived. Researchers describe this period as transient. This is when the first communities began to lead sedentary lifestyles, and their diets began to change. At archaeological sites associated with the Natufian culture, the first sickle-like stone tools were found, which suggested to scientists that this community began to cultivate crops.
– The remains of flat bread found at Shubayqa 1 are the earliest evidence of baking bread found to date. Perhaps baking itself appeared before our ancestors began growing crops – explained Tobias Richter of the University of Copenhagen.
– This evidence supports someore of our concepts. Indeed, it may have been that the early and extremely time-consuming production of bread based on wild grainsoż may have been one of the mainow driving forces poThe recent agricultural revolution. This led to the cultivation of wild cereals to provide more convenient sources ofofood sources – added Richter, coopublication author.
Charred food residues were analyzed by electron microscopy in a University College London (UCL) laboratory. – Identification of bread or other productsoin cereals in archaeology is not straightforward. We created a new set of criteriaow identifying bread, dough products and oatmeal in archaeological records. Using scanning electron microscopy, we identified microstructures and particles of charred food – explained Lara Gonzalez Carratero of UCL, ktora was responsible for microscopic analysis.
– Bread requires labor-intensive processing involving peeling, grinding zboand kneading and burning. The fact that bread was produced before cultivation methods suggests that it was seen as a special, unique food, and the desire to produce more of this special food likely contributed to the decision to start growing zboż. All this is based on new methodological studies, whichore allow us to identify bread remnants from very small charred fragmentsow – added Dorian Fuller of UCL.