Skip to main content

Archaeobotanical reveals the origin of bread 14,400 years ago in Jordan

Penelitian - The earliest direct evidence of bread is at least 4,000 years before the advent of agriculture, but the production of bread based on wild cereal may have encouraged hunter-gatherers 14,400 years ago to cultivate cereals thus contributing to the agricultural revolution in the Neolithic period.

Scientists report to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for the charred remains of baked flatbread at an archaeological site in Jordan. A group of gatherers make the first innovation to start more complex lifestyle changes and food flavors.

Penelitian Archaeobotanical reveals the origin of bread 14,400 years ago in Jordan

A team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen, University College London and the University of Cambridge analyzed scraps of charred food from the Natufian hunter-gatherer site known as Shubayqa 1 located in the Black Desert in northeastern Jordan.

"So we now know that products like bread are produced long before agricultural developments," says Amaia Arranz-Otaegui, an archaeobotanist at the University of Copenhagen.

"The ancestors of cultivated cereals such as barley, einkorn, and oats have been milled, sieved and crushed before cooking. The remains very similar to the unleavened flatbread at some Neolithic and Roman sites in Europe and Turkey," said Arranz-Otaegui.

Natufian hunter-gatherers live through a period of transition as people become less active and their diet begins to change. Production of the bread is very time consuming wild cereals has become one of the main driving forces behind the agricultural revolution later in the day in which the cereal began to be cultivated to provide a more convenient food source.

"Sickle blades and stone tools were found in the Natufian sites in the Levant has long been pushing the archaeologists suspect that people have started to exploit the plant in different ways and may be more effective," says Tobias Richter of the University of Copenhagen. Archaeobotanical reveals the origin of bread 14,400 years ago in Jordan

"But the flat bread found in Shubayqa 1 is the earliest evidence of bread making found so far and shows that the cake was created before we plant cultivation," Richter said.

Journal : Amaia Arranz-Otaegui et al. Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 16, 2018, DOI:10.1073/pnas.1801071115