Saturday, December 19, 2009

Early Humans ate Grain

Most archaeologists have assumed that people first lived on a grain-based diet in the neolithic, after we discovered farming, or perhaps for a few thousand years before that in a sort of transitional period, 12,000 to 10,000 years ago. I remember one eminent fellow telling me that before farming our diet was "Atkins." Now there is good evidence of a human group in East Africa that ate a lot of sorghum and tubers 100,000 years ago. The evidence, from a cave near Lake Niassa, includes grinding stones from which ancient starch grains have been recovered. This evidence does not tell us how much of these people's diet was grains and tubers, but it must have been significant, at least during one part of the year.

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