Tuesday, June 20, 2006

First domesticated plant is a ...fig?

Science magazine reports the results of a study of preserved figs from 11,400 years ago in the Lower Jordan valley. They provide convincing evidence that the figs they studied are different from the wild figs that were around at the time and that these differences are explained by the domestication of the fig tree. This date puts the domestication of the fig at almost 5000 years before other fruits like grapes, olives and dates, and even preceded cereal domestication by a millennium.

I am not a big fan of figs, but with 11,000 years of work already under our belt producing this fruit, perhaps I should reconsider my stance.

The site explored is close to the ancient city of Jericho, which is thought to have been continuously inhabited for 11,000 years!

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1 comment:

whirdly said...

Nothin' better than a perfectly ripe, fresh fig. How about a slice of fig on pate on a cracker? Tasty!