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Plant domestication timeline


9400-9200 Fig – Near East – The edible fig was one of the first plants to be domesticated by humans. Sterile (cultivated) figs have been found in the early Neolithic village Gilgal I in the Jordan Valley dating to about 9400–9200 BCE, thus pre-dating the domestication of wheat, barley, and legumes by about 1000 years. Figs were widely grown in Ancient Greece. Theophrastus observed that Greek farmers tied wild figs to cultivated trees to produce the fruit. Also grown by the Romans Cato the Elder lists several varieties (cultivars) in his De Agri Cultura, (c. 160 BCE, ch. 8) based on provenance: the Mariscan, African, Herculanean, Saguntine, and the black Tellanian. From the 15th century on it was grown in Northern Europe and the New World, the first record in the UK appearing to be in the 16th century (Cardinal Reginald Pole, Lambeth Palace, London)
8500 Barley – Near East – Wild Barley (H. vulgare ssp. spontaneum) ranges from North Africa and Crete in the west, to Tibet in the east.[8] The earliest evidence of wild barley in an archaeological context comes from the Epipaleolithic at Ohalo II at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. The remains were dated to about 8500 BC.[8] Cultivated The earliest domesticated barley occurs at Aceramic Neolithic sites, in the Near East such as the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B layers of Tell Abu Hureyra, in Syria. Barley was one of the first domesticated grains in the Near East,[13] near the same time as einkorn and emmer wheat.[14] Barley has been grown in the Korean Peninsula since the Early Mumun Pottery Period (c. 1500–850 BC) along with other crops such as millet, wheat, and legumes.[15]
8500 Einkorn wheat – Near East – An early dwarf Cultigen of wild wheat found in archaeological sites of the Fertile Crescent and first domesticated approximately 10,000 years BP, the earliest DNA records traced to Karaca Dağ in SE Turkey. Cultivation spread from here to the Caucasus, the Balkans, and central Europe, favoured over Emmer in cooler climates but in the Middle East its use declined in favor of emmer wheat around 2000 BCE. Cultivated in some regions of N Europe through the Middle Ages up to the early 20th century
8500 Emmer wheat – Near East
8500 Chickpea -Anatolia
8000 Rice – Asia
8000 Potatoes – Andes Mountains
8000 Beans – South America
8000 Squash – (Cucurbita pepo) Central America
8000-6000 Bottle gourdLagenaria siceraria – Indigenous to Old World Africa, reaching East Asia (China, Japan) by 9,000–8,000 BP, widely dispersed in the New World by 8,000 BP from Asian stock. Not so much a food source but grown for the value of its hard-shelled, buoyant fruits used as containers, musical instruments, and fishing floats[1]
7000 Maize – Central America
6000 Broomcorn millet – East Asia
6000 Bread wheat – Near East
6000 Manioc/Cassava – South America
5500 Chenopodium – South America
5000 Avocado – Central America
5000 Cotton – Southwest Asia
5000 Bananas – Island Southeast Asia
5000 Beans – Central America
4000 Chili peppers – South America
4000 Amaranth – Central America
4000 Watermelon -Near East
4000 Olives – Near East
4000 Cotton – Peru
3500 Pomegranate – Iran
3500 Hemp – East Asia
3000 Cotton – Mesoamerica
3000 Coca – South America
3000 Squash (Cucurbita pepo ovifera) – North America
2600 Sunflower – Central America
2500 Rice – India
2500 Sweet Potato – Peru
2500 Pearl millet – Africa
2400 Marsh elder (Iva annua) -North America
2000 Sorghum – Africa
2000 Sunflower – North America
1900 Saffron – Mediterranean
1900 Chenopodium – China
1800 Chenopodium – North America
1600 Chocolate – Mexico
1800 Chenopodium – North America
1500 Coconut – Southeast Asia
1500 Rice – Africa
1000 Tobacco – South America
c. 100 Eggplant – Asia
c. 1300-1400 Vanilla – Central America

First published on the internet – 1 March 2019

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