Use of Barley in the Egyptian Late Paleolithic

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Science  28 Sep 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4413, pp. 1341-1347
DOI: 10.1126/science.205.4413.1341


Several grains of barley have been recovered from archeological sites at Wadi Kubbaniya, near Aswan in Egypt. The sites are typical Late Paleolithic and are firmly dated between 18,300 and 17,000 years ago. They seem to represent a very early use of ground grain in the Nile Valley, and evidence is presented for its continued use over the subsequent 6000 years. The Egyptian findings possibly record an initial stage of food production, and if they indeed do, then they suggest that food production may not have been brought about by environmental stress and may not have led inevitably to radical social changes.