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Thread: Human impact on crops tens of thousands of years earlier than proposed

  1. #1
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    4 members found this post helpful.

    Human impact on crops tens of thousands of years earlier than proposed



    See:
    http://www.heritagedaily.com/2017/10...thought/117164

    "Professor Robin Allaby, in Warwick’s School of Life Sciences, has discovered that human crop gathering was so extensive, as long ago as the last Ice Age, that it started to have an effect on the evolution of rice, wheat and barley – triggering the process which turned these plants from wild to domesticated.In Tell Qaramel, an area of modern day northern Syria, the research demonstrates evidence of einkorn being affected up to thirty thousand years ago, and rice has been shown to be affected more than thirteen thousand years ago in South, East and South-East Asia.
    Furthermore, emmer wheat is proved to have been affected twenty-five thousand years ago in the Southern Levant – and barley in the same geographical region over twenty-one thousand years ago."

    "The researchers traced the timeline of crop evolution in these areas by analysing the evolving gene frequencies of archaeologically uncovered plant remains.

    Wild plants contain a gene which enables them to spread or shatter their seeds widely. When a plant begins to be gathered on a large scale, human activity alters its evolution, changing this gene and causing the plant to retain its seeds instead of spreading them – thus adapting it to the human environment, and eventually agriculture.
    Professor Allaby and his colleagues made calculations from archaeobotanical remains of crops mentioned above that contained ‘non-shattering’ genes – the genes which caused them to retain their seeds – and found that human gathering had already started to alter their evolution millennia before previously accepted dates."

    It took a very long time for hunter-gatherers to turn into farmers.


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    Cool research. I always postulated that harvesting form of early "farming" started long before emergence of fully fledged farmers. We were just harvesters and consumers of wheats, especially women and kids, for long time before actual farming happened. Way before man stopped hunting and engaged in the process too. My narrative was based on observation on a reason why women and kids have such propensity in consuming starches and sugars. While men is still strong on preferring meat in their diet. Generally speaking of course, and based on West Eurasian culture. I'm not sure if it is the case with East Asians, though I would believe so. I doubt it is the case with prairie Indians and Inuits.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    the only natural way to stimulate the selection of non-shattering genes is not to harvest just wild grasses, but to use some of the gathered seeds to sow them again and harvest these sown grasses again when they become ripe
    that is how you select the grasses with non-shattering genes cycle after cycle
    if you consume all the seeds you gather, this cycle does not exist

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    the only natural way to stimulate the selection of non-shattering genes is not to harvest just wild grasses, but to use some of the gathered seeds to sow them again and harvest these sown grasses again when they become ripe
    that is how you select the grasses with non-shattering genes cycle after cycle
    if you consume all the seeds you gather, this cycle does not exist
    You are right. This denotes not only harvesting but selective seeding.

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