Recent study shows that hunter-gatherers ate grain much earlier than originally believed.
Early humans were hunter-gatherers, but what did they gather? The easy stuff, archeologists say — roots, fruits and nuts. Until relatively late in the Pleistocene, which ended about 12,000 years ago, grains were thought to have been largely ignored by foraging humans, at least in part because they were difficult to process.
But Julio Mercader, an archeologist at the University of Calgary, has now found evidence from a cave in Mozambique that humans were eating sorghum grasses at least 105,000 years ago. The evidence was in the form of microscopic starch granules found on stone tools from the cave…
The addition of different food resources, Dr. Mercader said, shows that there was “economic complexity” in the behavior of these Middle Stone Age humans.
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