miércoles, 26 de agosto de 2015

Where bread began: Ancient tools used to reconstruct -- and taste -- prehistoric cuisine


Fig 2. Steps of the experimental procedure using the Natufian utensils.

Team including researchers from Bar-Ilan University and Harvard University unravel the mystery of 12,500-year-old rock-cut mortars found throughout Southwestern Asia

Bar-Ilan University. A group of intrepid Israeli researchers recently went back to the dawn of the Stone Age to make lunch.

Using 12,500-year-old conical mortars carved into bedrock, they reconstructed how their ancient ancestors processed wild barley to produce groat meals, as well as a delicacy that might be termed "proto-pita" - small loaves of coal-baked, unleavened bread. In so doing, they re-enacted a critical moment in the rise of civilization: the emergence of wild-grain-based nutrition, some 2,000 to 3,000 years before our hunter-gatherer forebears would establish the sedentary farming communities which were the hallmark of the "Neolithic Revolution".

The research team, consisting of independent researchers as well as faculty members from Bar-Ilan and Harvard Universities, conducted their study in the Late Natufian site of Huzuq Musa, located in Israel's Jordan Valley. Their findings were published in the journal Plos One on July 31, 2015. [...]  EurekAlert!