Early Neolithic Horsebean from Yiftah'el, Israel

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Science  19 Apr 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4697, pp. 319-320
DOI: 10.1126/science.228.4697.319


Charred seeds of horsebean (Vicia faba L.) from the seventh millennium B.C. that were found at Yiftah'el, Israel, push back the known use of this vetch by about 2000 years. Horsebean should be included in the ensemble of legumes grown by some early Neolithic people. The site, situated near the southwest outlet of Biq'at Bet Netofa, lies in a valley with heavy soil suitable for growing contemporary cultivars of horsebean. The still unknown wild ancestor of the horsebean may have originated in similar habitats in the Levant.