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Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan

Arranz-Otaegui, A; Gonzalez Carretero, L; Ramsey, M; Fuller, D; RICHTER, T; (2018) Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 115 (31) pp. 79125-7930. 10.1073/pnas.1801071115. Green open access

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Abstract

The origins of bread have long been associated with the emergence of agriculture and cereal domestication during the Neolithic in southwest Asia. In this study we analyze a total of 24 charred food remains from Shubayqa 1, a Natufian hunter-gatherer site located in northeastern Jordan and dated to 14.6–11.6 ka cal BP. Our finds provide empirical data to demonstrate that the preparation and consumption of bread-like products predated the emergence of agriculture by at least 4,000 years. The interdisciplinary analyses indicate the use of some of the “founder crops” of southwest Asian agriculture (e.g., Triticum boeoticum, wild einkorn) and root foods (e.g., Bolboschoenus glaucus, club-rush tubers) to produce flat bread-like products. The available archaeobotanical evidence for the Natufian period indicates that cereal exploitation was not common during this time, and it is most likely that cereal-based meals like bread become staples only when agriculture was firmly established

Type: Article
Title: Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1801071115
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1801071115
Language: English
Additional information: This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).
Keywords: Southwest Asia, Epipaleolithic hunter-gatherer, food, archaeobotany
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10052964
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