Ancient Bread: 14,400-Year-Old Flatbreads Unearthed in Jordan

Biblical Archaeology Society | 8/18/2019 | Staff
Click For Photo: https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/ancient-bread-shubayqa-fireplace-sq.png

One of the fireplaces at Shubayqa 1, where archaeologists discovered ancient “bread-like” remains that pre-date the emergence of agriculture by at least 4,000 years. Photo: From Arranz-Otaegui et al.

Breads of all forms and tastes are cross-cultural staples of the human diet commonly used in religious ritual or as a delicious complement to any meal. The origins of bread-making in prehistory, however, remain complicated by poor preservation and by the sheer abundance of forms and methods of creation, often making it difficult for archaeobotanists to determine what can and cannot be considered bread.

Terminology - Phenomena - Categorization - Bread - Types

Relying on modern terminology to describe ancient culinary phenomena makes an appropriate categorization of ancient bread types quite difficult. Not just the types of cereals used, but the process and method by which the grains were processed and refined, the ingredients mixed, and the doughs fired all effect the quality and type of the final product.

As early as the Upper Paleolithic Period in western Asia (ca. 23,000 cal BP [calibrated years before the present]), hunter-gatherer groups were producing flour from naturally-growing wild grasses like wheat and barley. By the Natufian period (14,600–11,700 cal BP), hunter-gatherers were making porridges and groats from non-domesticated grasses. Until recently, however, there has been no evidence of cereal-based breads prior to the later emergence of agriculture.

EBook - Life - Ancient - World - Craft

The free eBook Life in the Ancient World guides you through craft centers in ancient Jerusalem, family structure across Israel and articles on ancient practices—from dining to makeup—across the Mediterranean world.

Illustrator: Joe Roe.

Publication - Proceedings - National - Academy - Sciences

According to a recent publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, archaeologists from a consortium of institutions—including the University of Copenhagen and University College London—may have discovered such evidence.1 Between 2012 and 2015, the team led by Copenhagen’s Tobias Richter carried out a series of excavations at the Natufian site of Shubayqa I in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Biblical Archaeology Society
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