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Matti Narkia

Mozambican Grass Seed Consumption During the Middle Stone Age -- Mercader 326 (5960): 1... - 0 views

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    Mozambican Grass Seed Consumption During the Middle Stone Age
    Julio Mercader
    Science 18 December 2009:
    Vol. 326. no. 5960, pp. 1680 - 1683
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1173966

    The role of starchy plants in early hominin diets and when the culinary processing of starches began have been difficult to track archaeologically. Seed collecting is conventionally perceived to have been an irrelevant activity among the Pleistocene foragers of southern Africa, on the grounds of both technological difficulty in the processing of grains and the belief that roots, fruits, and nuts, not cereals, were the basis for subsistence for the past 100,000 years and further back in time. A large assemblage of starch granules has been retrieved from the surfaces of Middle Stone Age stone tools from Mozambique, showing that early Homo sapiens relied on grass seeds starting at least 105,000 years ago, including those of sorghum grasses.
Matti Narkia

Observations: Humans feasting on grains for at least 100,000 years - 0 views

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    "Grains might have been an important part of human diets much further back in our history than previous research has suggested.

    Although cupcakes and crumpets were still a long way off during the Middle Stone Age, new evidence suggests that at least some humans of that time period were eating starchy, cereal-based snacks as early as 105,000 years ago. The findings, gleaned from grass seed residue found on ancient African stone tools, are detailed online Thursday in Science.

    Researchers have assumed that humans were foraging for fruits, nuts and roots long before 100,000 years ago, but cereal grains are quite a new addition to the early prehistoric gastronomic picture. "This broadens the timeline for the use of grass seeds by our species," Julio Mercader, an assistant professor at University of Calgary's Department of Archeology and author of the paper, said in a prepared statement. "
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