Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Humans Made Flour 30,000 Years Ago

If you subscribe to the "beer-before-civilization" theory, this finding could push back the origin of beer by thousands of years.

Researchers collected stone tools from three archaeological sites in Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic. Our Paleolithic ancestors called these digs home some 30,000 years ago. The markings on the recovered tools suggest that they were used like grindstones and pestles for processing grains. And they still contained traces of flour.

The flour grains came mostly from cattails and ferns, plants whose roots are rich in starch, kind of like a potato. Processing these plants probably involved peeling, drying and grinding their roots. The resulting flour could then be whisked into a dough and cooked.

Read the whole story and/or listen to the podcast at Scientific American.

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