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14,000-Year-Old Piece Of Bread Rewrites The History Of Baking And Farming

"When an archaeologist working on an excavation site in Jordan first swept up the tiny black particles scattered around an ancient fireplace, she had no idea they were going to change the history of food and agriculture."

"Amaia Arranz-Otaegui is an archaeobotanist from the University of Copenhagen. She was collecting dinner leftovers of the Natufians, a hunter-gatherer tribe that lived in the area more than 14,000 years ago during the Epipaleolithic time — a period between the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras."

"Natufians were hunters, which one could clearly tell from the bones of gazelles, sheep and hares that littered the cooking pit. But it turns out the Natufians were bakers, too --at a time well before scientists thought it was possible."

"When Arranz-Otaegui sifted through the swept-up silt, the black particles appeared to be charred food remains. 'They looked like what we find in our toasters,' she says — except no one ever heard of people making bread so early in human history. 'I could tell they were processed plants," Arranz-Otaegui says, "but I didn't really know what they were.'"

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