|14,000-year-old faba seeds contain clues to the timing of the plants' domestication|
Seeds from a site in Northern Israel are the ancestors of today's fava beans
Like all food crops, the faba, or fava, bean – a nutritious part of the diet of many cultures – had a wild ancestor. Wild faba is presumed to be extinct, but Weizmann Institute of Science researchers have now identified 14,000-year-old remains of seeds that offer important clues as to the time and place that this plant grew naturally. Understanding the ecology of the wild plants’ environment and the evolution they underwent in the course of domestication is crucial to improving the biodiversity of the modern crop. The findings were reported in Scientific Reports.
Dr. Elisabetta Boaretto, Head of the “Timing of Cultural Changes” track of the Max Planck-Weizmann Center for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology, and Dr. Valentina Caracuta, a former postdoctoral fellow in Boaretto’s group who is currently a researcher at the University of Salento-Italy, had previously shown that 10,200-year-old faba beans discovered in three archaeological sites in Lower Galilee were the earliest faba bean ever domesticated.
The new finding – faba seeds from an archaeological site, el-Wad, on Mount Carmel in Northern Israel – came from the earliest levels of an excavation...(Video) Weizmann Institute of Science
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