Daily bread before farming, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 16 July 2018 and BBC News 17 July 2018, and PNAS 16 July 2018 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1801071115.

A team of researchers from UK and Denmark have found charred remains in the fireplaces of an archaeological site known as Shubayqa 1, located in the Black Desert in north eastern Jordan.  Using a high-powered electron microscope they identified the remains as a type of unleavened flatbread.  They were unable to identify the specific grains used in the bread, but the microscopic structure observed fits with cereal grain species such as wild einkorn, rye, or millet.  There may have also been some root starches from the tubers of club rushes.

The BBC reported: “Dr Amaia Arranz-Otaegui of the University of Copenhagen, who discovered the remains of the bread, said it was the last thing they expected to find at the site.”  The discovery was unexpected because this archaeological site is considered to be a hunter-gather site, and is dated as 11.6 to 14.6 thousand years ago.  According the researchers this means “the preparation and consumption of bread-like products predated the emergence of agriculture by at least 4,000 years.”

Tobias Richter, an archaeologist at University of Copenhagen explained: “Natufian hunter-gatherers are of particular interest to us because they lived through a transitional period when people became more sedentary and their diet began to change.  Flint sickle blades as well as ground stone tools found at Natufian sites in the Levant have long led archaeologists to suspect that people had begun to exploit plants in a different and perhaps more effective way. But the flat bread found at Shubayqa 1 is the earliest evidence of bread making recovered so far, and it shows that baking was invented before we had plant cultivation.”

BBC, Science, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment:  The artefacts and other remains found at this site may indicate a culture undergoing transition, but it is just as likely to be from farming to hunter-gathering as the other way around.

The standard evolutionary story of mankind is that we started as hunter-gatherers and later developed farming.  However, the history of mankind recorded in Genesis 3 and 4, tells us the first generation of people on earth were farmers who grew crops and made bread.  When God judged Adam and Eve for their disobedience and expelled them from the Garden of Eden he told them “cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground.” (Genesis 3:17-19)

The knowledge of grain cultivation and bread making was passed down to Noah’s family, and through them to the people of Babel.  When people were scattered in small groups they had to scrape up a living as best they could in whatever new environment they found themselves in, using whatever knowledge and resources they took with them.  Those who found themselves in a suitable environment carried on with farming, but others lost the skills and became hunter-gatherers.

Also, as the earth dried out over the centuries after the Noah’s Flood and the environment continued to degenerate some people found it harder to farm and took to hunting and gathering to supplement their diet, but many retained enough knowledge to cultivate plants and make bread. Today if supermarkets were to go bankrupt most people in the sophisticated 21st century cities won’t be able to have bread, let alone grow the grains or make flour.

Evidence News vol.18 No. 10
1 August 2018
Creation Research Australia

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