A genetic study of wheat indicates that wheat was first cultivated in the mountains of southeast Turkey. A group of European researchers from Norway and Germany compared DNA from varieties of einkorn wheat a type of wheat that grows wild in the Middle East and has also been cultivated. Elsewhere the best match between the cultivated and wild varieties was with a variety that grows in Karacadag Mountains in Turkey. (Reported in Science News, 15 Nov, 1997) The search for the first farms keeps bringing archaeologists and geneticist to a region known as the “fertile crescent” which extends from present day Turkey and Iran. Many archaeologists believe wheat, barley and lentils were first cultivated in this region and sheep, goats, pigs and dogs were first domesticated here. (See also Science News 28 June, 1997)
Editorial Comment: These findings certainly fit the Biblical history of farming. Between the fall of the first man Adam and Noah’s flood, human beings farmed grains and kept flocks and herds. (Gen 323 – 42) After the Flood Noah and his family began farming again (Gen 920) making use of cultivated plants and domestic animals that had been on the ark. (Gen 6:21-7:2) Noah would have first settled in the region close to where the ark was grounded on the mountains of Ararat (Gen 84) and as the population increased people migrate to the plain of Shinar modern day Iran. (Gen 112) The so-called “wild” varieties of wheat could simply be plants that grew from seeds scattered on the farms of Noah’s descendants.