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FIGURE 5.1 Map of the Near East indicating the Fertile Crescent [according to Breasted (1916)]. Shaded areas indicate the approximate areas of domestication of pig, cattle, sheep, and goats with dates of initial domestication in calibrated years b.p. [after Zeder (2008)]. Lines enclose the wild ranges of einkorn wheat, emmer wheat, and barley [after Smith, (1995)]. Shaded area in southern Levant indicates the region where all 3 grains were first domesticated 12,000 years B.P.

FIGURE 5.1 Map of the Near East indicating the Fertile Crescent [according to Breasted (1916)]. Shaded areas indicate the approximate areas of domestication of pig, cattle, sheep, and goats with dates of initial domestication in calibrated years b.p. [after Zeder (2008)]. Lines enclose the wild ranges of einkorn wheat, emmer wheat, and barley [after Smith, (1995)]. Shaded area in southern Levant indicates the region where all 3 grains were first domesticated 12,000 years B.P.

ent at the time of earliest civilization (Breasted, 1916). In his conception, the Fertile Crescent extends from the Mesopotamian plains, through the Taurus mountains and along the Mediterranean coast to the Levant, and does not include Egypt (Fig. 5.1). Here, hunter-gatherers first became sedentary, domesticated plants and animals, developed agriculture, and built urban villages—the suite of cultural innovations and consequences known as the Neolithic Revolution. The Fertile Crescent during the terminal Pleistocene was much different from the thorny, overgrazed scrub that is present today. Gazelle and deer, wild cattle, boar, horses, and goats and sheep flourished through an oak/pistachio parkland (Bar-Yosef, 1998; Clutton-Brock, 1999). Among the hundred or so species of edible seeds, leaves, fruits, and tubers, there were thick natural stands of cereals (barley, einkorn, and emmer wheat) and pulses (pea, chickpea, lentil), which provide a rich source of calories and a balance of nutrients. Together



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