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Desert Dwellers Started Farming Earlier Than Previously Thought

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


AVDAT, ISRAEL—Inhabitants of Israel’s Negev Desert may have started farming 5,000 years earlier than previously thought, claims Hendrik Bruins of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Radiocarbon dates taken from bones, animal manure, and burnt food scraps show three periods of agricultural activity, the earliest beginning in 5000 B.C. Bruins adds that ancient farmers managed their water carefully and probably grew grapes, olives, wheat, and barley.