Mesopotamian Wheat Field Credit: Global Firsts and Facts
Today’s primary foods originate in grains: high quality grains processed into cereals, bread, pasta, couscous, and beer or as unprocessed rice, dried corn, and low quality grains (grasses) which are reprocessed into the meats and dairy products of grazing animals, and increasingly into farmed fish and other seafoods. Through breakthroughs in applied technology, archaeologists can now document and date the existence of grain in human diet far back into prehistory.
The material culture of the earliest verified hunter-gatherers who harvested wild grains was excavated at Jarmo in northern Iraq.
Today, we will look at a fascinating analysis of man’s behavioral changes in adapting to the vagaries of climate following the Last Glacial Maximum and through the Younger Dryas. The lecture period spans from the first melting of the LGM ice cap through the subsequent and erratic warming and cooling, humidification and desiccation cycles culminating in the Neolithic Subpluvial and our current Holocene.
Our first video is produced by the Oriental Institute (May 2, 2018) and presented by Arlene M. Rosen: “Climate Change and the Origins of Agriculture in Western Asia.”
As I continue writing my next novel, which centers on cultural fallout from the 5.9kya Event, I must study the technology of primitive agriculture, especially the reaping, dehulling, winnowing, and storage of wheat and barley grains as performed with primitive tools available in the mid-4th millennium BC, which marked the transition from late Neolithic to early Chalcolithic tools and methods. To this end, I present below short videos that demonstrate the essential principles during realistic primitive simulations of the following agricultural tasks:
- Harvesting: videos 1, 2, 3, 4
- Threshing videos: 1, 2, 3
- Dehulling videos: 1
- Winnowing: 1, 2
- Grinding: 1
At this point, I have enough to take my characters through a big harvest in Mesopotamia.
Thanks for visiting,
R. E. J. Burke