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Stones 40,000 years old prove that Neanderthals knew how to make flour

Stones 40,000 years old prove that Neanderthals knew how to make flour

Grinding stones found in Italy show that ancient humans made flour thousands of years earlier than science believed

July 7th
– 23:30

(Updated 7/8/2023 at 00:07 AM)

Long before they settled down, settled down, and invented agriculture, ancient humans already knew how to process grain and other wild sources to produce a nutritious, edible flour. Now scientists have found evidence that this was done much earlier than previously thought – in Neanderthal timemore accurate.

In an article published in the scientific journal Quadruple Science Reviewsanalyzing 5 grinding stones found in Italy, dating between 39,000 and 43,000 years ago, showing that grain grinding was already done in the times of transition between Neanderthals (Neanderthal) and modern man (Homo sapiens).

Photo: Charles R. Knight/Public Domain/Canaltech

With this, evidence of grain processing and flour production goes back thousands of years. The stones come from different archaeological sites – some from Liguria in northern Italy, others from Campania, in the south of the country, some 1,000 kilometers away.

Spreading knowledge

Similar milling practices at the two sites show how technological know-how and food habits of the population Published, perhaps already existing cultural heritage in Cultural traditions of human ancestors in the past, possibly evidence of contact between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals. Mousterian grinding stone (Primitive culture), from the north of the country, is the oldest European example of food processing, showing that the species already knew the technique.

Two stones from modern human cultures from the same site, nearly a thousand years ago, show that our ancestors performed the same practice—in addition to being similar to those of Neanderthals, however, they also showed some deliberate modifications to make them work better.

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A real technological improvement. The innovation brought about by the creation of flour was very important, as it allowed Paleolithic food collectors to more easily store and transport food. Finding out that this was done much earlier than we thought changes our ideas about the nomadic way of life in the past.

And in case you’re curious, the oldest evidence of bread-making dates back 14,400 years, in the Black Desert, northwest of Jordan, when nomadic peoples called the Natufians left evidence that they gathered wild grains and tubers to make flour and cook. bread.

Remains roasted in primitive ovens show that they produced a delicacy (which was far from being an everyday food) 4,000 years before the advent of agriculture. The same people left evidence of wild barley and wheat being used to make beer 13,000 years ago in what is now Israel.

source: University of MontrealAnd Quadruple Science Reviews; With information from: archaeology.org

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