June 26, 2009

Predomestication grain deposits in Jordan

See also: Crop domestication didn't happen overnight or in one place

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 22.

Evidence for food storage and predomestication granaries 11,000 years ago in the Jordan Valley.

Kuijt I, Finlayson B.

Food storage is a vital component in the economic and social package that comprises the Neolithic, contributing to plant domestication, increasingly sedentary lifestyles, and new social organizations. Recent excavations at Dhra' near the Dead Sea in Jordan provide strong evidence for sophisticated, purpose-built granaries in a predomestication context approximately 11,300-11,175 cal B.P., which support recent arguments for the deliberate cultivation of wild cereals at this time. Designed with suspended floors for air circulation and protection from rodents, they are located between residential structures that contain plant-processing instillations. The granaries represent a critical evolutionary shift in the relationship between people and plant foods, which precedes the emergence of domestication and large-scale sedentary communities by at least 1,000 years.


1 comment:

Helga Vierich-Drever said...

The storage of large amounts of wild harvested grain in this case is parallel to the storage of large amounts of wild salmon by the hunter-gatherers such as the Haida along the Northwest coast of North America. It might be interesting to find out if there is any evidence of the occurrence of large communal feasting where people from many surrounding villages attended and might have brought items to give as gifts to their hosts.