Current Anthropology http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/658367
The Neolithic Southwest Asian Founder Crops
Their Biology and Archaeobotany
Ehud Weiss and Daniel Zohary
This article reviews the available information on the founder grain crops (einkorn wheat, emmer wheat, barley, lentil, pea, chickpea, and flax) that started agriculture in Southwest Asia during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period, some 11,000–10,000 years ago. It provides a critical assessment for recognizing domestication traits by focusing on two fields of study: biology and archaeobotany. The data in these fields have increased considerably during the past decade, and new research techniques have added much to our knowledge of progenitor plants and their domesticated derivatives. This article presents the current and accumulated knowledge regarding each plant and illustrates the new picture that emerged on the origin of agriculture.