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Early Domesticated Fig in the Jordan Valley

Science  02 Jun 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5778, pp. 1372-1374
DOI: 10.1126/science.1125910

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Abstract

It is generally accepted that the fig tree was domesticated in the Near East some 6500 years ago. Here we report the discovery of nine carbonized fig fruits and hundreds of drupelets stored in Gilgal I, an early Neolithic village, located in the Lower Jordan Valley, which dates to 11,400 to 11,200 years ago. We suggest that these edible fruits were gathered from parthenocarpic trees grown from intentionally planted branches. Hence, fig trees could have been the first domesticated plant of the Neolithic Revolution, which preceded cereal domestication by about a thousand years.

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