Farms in the Sahara

23 Mar 2018

At ... researchers from Huddersfield and Italy have been in the Libyan desert and they have discovered people in the Sahara were cultivating and storing wild cereals 10,000 years ago. This was the period of the Green Sahara - and early agriculture was being practised. Hunter gatherers, it would seem, were collecting wild cereal seeds rather than farming them - but they didn't only harvest them, they also stored them. They were made into a sort of soup or porridge. They also made cheese and used pottery.

At ... we learn that small scale agricultural farming was practised on the Anatolian plateau early in the Holocene - and was not introduced by migrants. This story is also in World Current Archaeology 88 (April/May 2018) page 56 (see also Boncuklu is a village 10km north of Catal Huyuk. The latter dates to the Late Neolithic period but Boncuklu dates as early as 8500-7500BC. Both sites are situated on the Konya Plain of central Anatolia, which at the time was a mixture of wetland and steppe. Domesticated crops date as early as 10,000 years ago and DNA analysis establishes the people were local and did not originate in the Levant or Zagros (early farming regions). Also, they are related to the first farmers to migrate into Europe - after 6000BC.