Wednesday, 20 July 2016
6 millennia old but ‘almost fresh,’ Masada seeds unravel barley’s origins
A new study has allowed scientists to peer thousands of years back in time via a grain of barley found in the Judean Desert.
Barley seeds, dated to 6,000 years ago, have become the oldest plant genome to be sequenced, an international team of researchers announced in a journal article published Monday. Analysis of the 6,000-year-old cereals supports the hypothesis that the key crop was domesticated thousands of years ago in the Jordan Valley.
A team of scientists from Israel, Germany, the United Kingdom and the US employed a wide array of disciplines — archaeology, archaeobotany and genetics — to study the material found in the Yoram Cave. The findings were released in the academic journal Nature Genetics.
The Chalcolithic kernels were discovered in a cavern overlooking the Dead Sea on the southern end of Masada, a mountaintop better known for Jewish rebels’ last stand against the Roman Empire in the first century CE. (for the rest of the article, pls go to the url below)