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Emergence of Agriculture in the Foothills of the Zagros Mountains of Iran

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Science  05 Jul 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6141, pp. 65-67
DOI: 10.1126/science.1236743

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Early Farmers?

What was the role of the eastern Fertile Crescent (which includes southeastern Turkey, northeastern Iraq, and western Iran) in the transition from foraging to farming? Riehl et al. (p. 65; see the Perspective by Willcox) investigated an archaeobotanical assemblage from Chogha Golan, in modern Iran over an apparently continuous occupation of the site over 2000 years, which captures the transition from foraging to farming. The rich archaeobotanical remains suggest the use of a wide array of plant species, including the progenitors of key crop plants (wheat, barley, and large-seeded legumes). Residents of the eastern Fertile Crescent thus appear to have been involved in plant management and possibly in the domestication of wild crop plants.

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