In conclusion, Fig. 1C shows a 2-fold scenario: Einkorn domestication near the Karacadağ and T. urartu domestication along the middle Euphrates. These two domestication events would have met over time and mixed plant remains would occur at the respective sites, such as Dja’de, as the preliminary data of Willcox (2005) might imply. The crossing barrier between these two species could explain why the integrities of the species are maintained. And it also explains why an extinct (Fuller 2007) domesticated 2-grained “Einkorn” wheat (which we assume to be T. urartu) might have followed the spread of agriculture, for example into the Balkans (Kroll 1992) and Germany (Kreuz and Boenke 2002), and would have left no DNA trace in modern Einkorn. Also interesting is the human dimension: these two domestication events meet close to Göbekli Tepe, the impressive site built by hunter-gatherers on the verge of becoming farmers (Schmidt 2007a, 2007b; Curry 2008). One might also put it the other way around: domestication spread north and south from Göbekli Tepe, making the ceremonial meetings at Göbekli Tepe the “spiritual” source of these two domestications. Also, emmer wheat (T. dicoccum) has its domestication site nearby (Luo et al. 2007).Genome. 2008 Jun;51(6):444-451.
Reassessing domestication events in the Near East: Einkorn and Triticum urartu.
Heun M, Haldorsen S, Vollan K.
To reassess domestication events in the Near East, accessions of Triticum urartu from a well-described sampling were combined with a representative sample covering the Karacadağ Einkorn wheat domestication. The observed DNA separation between the two wheat species accounts for the main differentiation, but geographic variation within T. urartu is evident and so is the domestication scenario among wild, feral, and domesticated Einkorn. In contrast to the clear DNA differences, it is difficult to separate living T. urartu from wild Einkorn based on morphology. With archaeobotanical material a distinction of carbonized remains of these two wheats is considered to be impossible. We reviewed the differences concerning morphology and maturity and combined these observations with information about archaeological sites in the Near East. In conclusion, the excavation sites in the middle Euphrates may contain T. urartu rather than Einkorn wheat and T. urartu may underlie the reported occurrence of the extinct 2-grained domesticated "Einkorn" wheat. The first Einkorn wheat domestication sensu stricto seems to have happened around the Karacadağ, as reported earlier. The human dimension shown by the excavation of Göbekli Tepe can explain why domesticated phenotypes might have spread quickly.