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Practice Of Farming Reaches Back Farther Than Thought (Panama - 7,800YA)
Eureka Alert ^ | 2-19-2007 | Gregory Harris (University Of Calgary)

Posted on 02/20/2007 11:59:10 AM PST by blam

Public release date: 19-Feb-2007

Contact: Gregory Harris
gharris@ucalgary.ca 403-220-3506
University of Calgary

Practice of farming reaches back farther than thought

Archaeological findings from Panama show agriculture's roots run deep

Ancient people living in Panama were processing and eating domesticated species of plants like maize, manioc, and arrowroot at least as far back as 7,800 years ago – much earlier than previously thought – according to new research by a University of Calgary archaeologist.

One of the most hotly debated issues in the discipline of archaeology is how and why certain human societies switched from hunting and gathering to producing their own food through agriculture. Dr. Ruth Dickau, a post-doctoral researcher in the U of C's department of archaeology, has used a new technique called starch grain analysis to recover microscopic residues of plants directly off the stone tools that people were using in Panama 3,000 to 7,800 years ago.

"These results add to the growing evidence that the earliest beginnings of farming were not centred in arid highland regions like central Mexico and the Peruvian Andes as once believed, but in the lowland areas and humid forests of the American tropics," Dickau says.

"What is particularly interesting is that these crops were originally domesticated outside of Panama; maize was domesticated in Mexico, and manioc and arrowroot in South America. Panama, as a relatively narrow land-bridge between the two American continents, was an important route for the human spread of food crops, and clearly a region where agriculture was practiced very early in history."

Dickau is the lead author of a paper appearing next week in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an internationally respected academic publication. The paper is titled "Starch Grain Evidence for the Preceramic Dispersals of Maize and Root Crops into Tropical Dry and Humid Forests of Panama."

Dry, arid areas favour archaeological preservation, whereas tropical regions typically don't – especially when it comes to foodstuffs. But with starch grain analysis, researchers are able to isolate residue from microcrevices in both ground stone and flaked stone tools and identify preserved starch grains under a microscope.

"The ability of starch grain analysis to identify plant taxa in the unfavourable preservation environments of western and central Panama confirms the importance of this method for establishing the presence of particular plant species, both domesticated and wild, in the subsistence practices of early inhabitants of tropical forests," the authors write.

###

Much of Dickau's research was conducted as part of her graduate studies at Temple University in Philiadelphia. The second and third authors are Anthony J. Ranere (Temple University), and Richard G. Cooke (Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst., Panama).


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: agriculture; ancient; animalhusbandry; arrowroot; camerica; centralamerica; civilization; corn; dietandcuisine; domestication; farming; godsgravesglyphs; huntergatherers; ithmus; maize; manioc; panama; tapioca
It appears that most things announced these days are farther in the past than believed.
1 posted on 02/20/2007 11:59:17 AM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv; Coyoteman

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 02/20/2007 11:59:48 AM PST by blam
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To: blam

Interesting article.


3 posted on 02/20/2007 12:03:14 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: blam

bet they had some dand John Deere's


4 posted on 02/20/2007 12:03:36 PM PST by sure_fine ( • not one to over kill the thought process™ •)
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To: blam

The first city ever recorded was Enoc was in Genesis Four. Organized groups did various things for the city - masons built, and farmers provided food for them.

Is this farther back then that?


5 posted on 02/20/2007 12:14:59 PM PST by edcoil (Reality doesn't say much - doesn't need too)
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To: sure_fine

6 posted on 02/20/2007 12:17:47 PM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: xcamel

I see some Amish around here still using those


7 posted on 02/20/2007 12:35:23 PM PST by sure_fine ( • not one to over kill the thought process™ •)
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To: blam

I'm really condused by CE, AD and every other reference to what year it is these days. What is YA?


8 posted on 02/20/2007 12:36:33 PM PST by carolinalivin
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To: carolinalivin
"What is YA?"

LOL. Years Ago.

9 posted on 02/20/2007 12:38:30 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

well that's a tough one, lol!


10 posted on 02/20/2007 12:47:07 PM PST by carolinalivin
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To: edcoil

Since this article (and the research) was apparently using the standard, Macroevolutionary timescale, this is older than the universe, if the Bible states that the universe is roughly 6,000 Earth-years old. (time is relative, hence the Earth-years).


11 posted on 02/20/2007 1:30:50 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: carolinalivin

CE is the same as AD; it's counterpart is BCE (Before the Common Era) which is the same as BC.


12 posted on 02/20/2007 1:32:17 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: blam
Sort of topical-- PBS NOVA is showing "America's Stone Age Explorers" tonight at 7pm Central. I think this is the premier tonight; should be interesting.


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/stoneage/
13 posted on 02/20/2007 3:35:38 PM PST by Dysart
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To: Dysart
"Sort of topical-- PBS NOVA is showing "America's Stone Age Explorers" tonight at 7pm Central. I think this is the premier tonight; should be interesting."

Thanks. Does anyone know what channel that is on DirecTV?

14 posted on 02/20/2007 4:12:42 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
England outlawed slavery in 1833. By 1850, there could not have been a single moral person in this country who didn't understand that it was evil. Your defense of this institution is laughable.,p>Uh oh...

Does that mean that the "Cradle of Civilization' isn't?

15 posted on 02/20/2007 4:23:15 PM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: edcoil

Since there is no written form of the old testament known to be older than 2000 years, yeah. That would be older.


16 posted on 02/20/2007 4:24:30 PM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Thanx for taking the time. I know this stuff. I was just trying to make a funny with the question and a half-serious comment at the same time.


17 posted on 02/20/2007 4:38:13 PM PST by carolinalivin
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To: blam

PBS is 384 on my DTV system and I assume it's the same where you are. I don't get that channel, though (it might be HD programming). I'll be watching the local PBS station here.


18 posted on 02/20/2007 4:42:34 PM PST by Dysart
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To: Dysart

BTW, and tragically, this is a repeat. Matter of fact, I think I may have seen this one before if it's the episode that "introduces" the Salutorian people's Atlantic crossing theory. If so, it's a couple of yrs old.


19 posted on 02/20/2007 4:50:57 PM PST by Dysart
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To: Dysart
"BTW, and tragically, this is a repeat. Matter of fact, I think I may have seen this one before if it's the episode that "introduces" the Salutorian people's Atlantic crossing theory. If so, it's a couple of yrs old."

Thanks. That solves that problem, I've seen that one too.

20 posted on 02/20/2007 5:12:45 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

"Practice Of Farming Reaches Back Farther Than Thought"

They farmed without thinking?


21 posted on 02/20/2007 5:18:55 PM PST by gcruse (http://garycruse.blogspot.com/)
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To: Dysart
The PBS special is based on Dennis Sanford's theory that is outlined in the article linked below. BTW, Dennis is one of the people appearing in that special.

Immigrants From The Other Side (Clovis Is Solutrean?)

22 posted on 02/20/2007 5:32:35 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

Yep that was the episode i thought it was, but well worth watching again. I'd like to know what Sanford's latest research has revealed...ie has he found evidence that bolsters his theory or has he found contradictory evidence?


23 posted on 02/20/2007 5:58:44 PM PST by Dysart
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...
Thanks Blam. "Panama Red" ping for the libertarians. ;')

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
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24 posted on 02/20/2007 9:23:52 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: gcruse

Thought was invented some time in the Iron Age and gave rise to Smart Mouth Kids.


25 posted on 02/21/2007 1:35:47 AM PST by ThanhPhero (di hanh huong den La Vang)
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26 posted on 05/25/2010 6:39:08 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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