The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Another ancient bread find

breadforfun's picture

Another ancient bread find

I came across this interesting article. Archaeologists have found evidence of bread going back 14,000 years, which is before plants and crops were domesticated. That's a lot earlier than previous thought. Hunter gatherers collected grains in the field and apparently made them into a sort of flatbread. Find the article here.


franbaker's picture

The article linked to in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is quite interesting. Pretty cool that people were baking bread long before the beginning of agricultural settlement :-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

maybe not. Give me a moment or two...

What would happen if this bread was made in the stomach of a grazing animal? I wonder if that idea has been hashed around and been eliminated.  Think about it.  A wide assortment of grains and fermentation, cabbagge etc could have been eaten and partially digested in a stomach of an animal before that stomach ended up being roasted over a hearth or camp fire.  I can imagine this was an often occurring feast even if the stomach was saved to be used as a vessel, the contents might be a hardy mixture of grain, herbs, mushrooms worth cooking and eating.  

The animal did all the gathering saving hunting/gathering humans energy and time.  The various foods collected by the animals during their foraging would not go unnoticed by the humans leading to eventual collecting of these same foods for their flavour or using these foods to trap and catch animals for meat.  Using animal stomachs as a food source is not uncommon and would also be a quick way to see what foods are seasonally available.  


dabrownman's picture

Fact is 97% of facts believed by scientists are later proven wrong by other scientists.    So scientists are never to be believed - except for me, because I am going to test you on it and your whole life from now on depends on remembering what I tell you - so you will know I was totally wrong ...sometime later in life.

That is what my Engineering Physics Professor told me as a Freshman.  Here is an example

“So bread was being made by hunter-gatherers before they started to cultivate any plants,” he said.

Maybe not?  Maybe people were cultivating crops long before scientists thought.  It was nice to know for a fact that wheat and barley are way more ancient than the supposed ancient Emmer found in the Pharaoh's tombs....or maybe not?

Still an interesting article anyway!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

"Maybe people were cultivating crops long before scientists thought."  

I can think of a way crops could be planted in clearings naturally, by animals without looking cultivated. This aggregation of food plants would attract people too.  I find it interesting that where wolves were reintroduced the deer are coming out, spending more time in clearings and fields away from the forests.  This means that they are dropping poop and seeds in clearings, natural or otherwise creating an ever expanding food location complete with fertilizer. 

I also thought it neat that the grains bits found are so old.  In Jordan.  That crumbs can survive so long...amazing.  It also tells me the old campers didn't have a dog they had a cat.  Dogs tend to find all the bread crumbs and so do mice.

So, club rush tubers taste salty....paired with unsalted meat... might be tasty.