Do You Know What the First Crop Was?

In a subject that is debatable, this month researchers believe they have found the first crop that was cultivated by early humans. Would you believe that it is the fig that was the first thing cultivated more than 11,000 years ago. This is a new belief amongst researchers after dried-up figs were uncovered. After this discovery, archeologists and researchers were forced to rethink about the earliest known agriculture. The new estimate is about 1,000 years off of what was originally thought.


This find also provides evidence that early humans found a way to propagate fruit bearing trees to create sweets for themselves. Using fruit trees for their own doing was seen as an approach centuries before planting barley and other crops were a common way of utilizing other food sources. Numerous anthropology experts explain that 11,000 years ago, humans were dealing with a variety of issues. They were trying to figure out ways to survive with the surrounding materials that they had. First, humans had to work with what was given to them, in terms of the natural state of things. Then, as time passed and further interaction with their surroundings developed, humans had to find a way to make things work for them in the survival department.


Whatever early humans believed in, whether it was one God or more, it is thought that they attributed their food supply to the entities they could see, but believed in. It didn’t take long after for them to look towards other ways of getting or making their own food. This meant they would have to manipulate the resources that could be found throughout nature. When early humans became less nomadic and turned towards building villages and families, the growing of wild crops was one of the choices they decided upon. These wild crops were usually barley and wheat. This was an important transition within the early human history. We start to see them as hunter-gathers, who now can be called farmers as they tend to this sedentary lifestyle.


Why is the cultivation of figs kind of a shock to researchers? Some experts state it is because it was formally held that the fig tree was domesticated about 6,500 years ago somewhere in the Near East area. Do you see the difference here? As for the figs that were found, there were nine in total. The specimens were uncovered in Gilgal I, which is where you will find the remains of a Neolithic village dating back to early times. The village was located within the Lower Jordan Valley area, offering these items, which could be dated somewhere between 11,400 to 11,200 years ago.


When the figs were analyzed, they were deemed a type that was once large, offering a sweet taste, which is different from the wild kind of figs. The variety was concluded to be what is called a parthenocarpic fig. Details associated with this type of fig is that is can grow without the help of insect pollination and does not have the problem of falling to the ground. Because it does not fall like other fruits, it can grow to become a sweet and soft fruit to enjoy.