pierre laszlo

Triticum dicoccum/dicoccoides (Cyperaceae)

Triticum dicoccum/dicoccoides (Cyperaceae) : plant domestication

Triticum, from the family of cereals, is arguably the oldest wheat species to have been domesticated by mankind. The main elements in the story of plant domestication are its origination in the Fertile Crescent, i.e., in the Middle East; a multiplicity of plants having become domesticated at about the same time; and the more or less contemporary domestication of animals.
A good illustration of those linked histories, at the very beginnings of the agricultural revolution, is the story from Cyprus, as reconstructed by a team of French archeologists, led by Jean Guilaine. Established villagers lived on Cyprus between 11,100 and 10,600 years ago, as dated by radiocarbon. The island of Cyprus was populated from the surrounding mainlands, due presumably to a combination of — not a Flood, as in the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark — but demographic pressure and increased economic exchanges. These first farmers to have inhabited the island brought with them goats, cattle, sheep and pigs — in addition to domesticated cereals and barley (Hordeum spontaneum/distichon)
Not to mention tamed cats, as well, Felis sylvestris lybica! One cat was buried with the remains of a man in a tomb. It was aged about eight months at death. Its large size is similar to that of present-day wild cats in the Near East. Thus, cats were already tamed if not domesticated eight millennia before the Christian Era. Until this find, cats were believed to have become domesticated in Egypt only some millennia later. Farmers having colonized Cyprus also brought with them domesticated dogs from the mainland.