January/February 2019

World Roundup FranceFRANCE: A 2nd-century Roman water mill in Barbegal was one of the world’s first industrial complexes, capable of producing 28 tons of flour per day. Scholars believed that the mill supplied grain to the nearby city of Arles. But a recent examination of carbonate mineral deposits revealed that it was regularly closed for months at a time. Instead of feeding the population of Arles, the mill likely manufactured hardtack, a nonperishable foodstuff essential for ship crews during sailing season.