Multiple Origins for Farming

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Multiple origins for farming reported in ScienceNOW 4 July 2013 and ScienceDaily 5 July 2013 and Science 2013: Vol. 341 pp. 39-40 DOI: 10.1126/science.1240496 5 July 2013. There has been some debate amongst archaeologists and anthropologists as to whether crop farming began in one place and spread out, or arose many times. Cultivating domesticated plants is believed to have started in the Middle East, with the oldest dated evidence being in the western and northern parts of the Fertile Crescent – corresponding to modern day Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Turkey. A team of archaeologists and archaeobotanists have now excavated the remains of a village named Chogha Golan, in the foothills of the Zagros Mountains in western Iran. Their find included remains of implements used for processing plant foods, such as mortars, pestles, and grinding stones, along with a large quantity of charred plant remains, including wheat, barley and lentils.

Radiocarbon dating indicates these are as old as previously identified oldest farming sites. Because of the rugged terrain and the distance between the Zagros Mountains and the western Fertile Crescent the researchers claim this is evidence for multiple origins of farming. According to ScienceNOW, “The team concludes that the advent of farming at Chogha Golan, and in the eastern Fertile Crescent, was an independent event that paralleled developments much farther west. This suggests, researchers say, that farming was more or less inevitable once the Ice Age had ended and climatic and environmental conditions were right for it, rather than being a fluke that arose in just one location”. An article in Science concludes: “It remains to be seen, however, whether ideas, crops, or migration were responsible for disseminating cultivation as far as the Zagros Mountains”.


Editorial Comment: Ever tried to stop inventing history via Darwin’s glasses and try to see things through actual historic records? The standard evolutionary story is that man progressed from caveman hunter/gatherer to farmer, but Genesis tells us the opposite. Farming began when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden and had to make a living tilling the soil and growing crops. They and their family also kept flocks – probably sheep and goats for skins and sacrifice. Thus from the beginning humans went from gardeners to farmers within one generation. After Cain killed his brother, God punished him by expelling him from the community, and preventing him from being a farmer. (Genesis 4:11-12). He and his offspring were condemned to a living by trading, raiding or hunting. The knowledge of farming aided by technological discoveries in making metal implements, as recorded in Genesis 4, continued down the generations to Noah’s family, and after the Flood. Noah is described as a “man of the soil” who planted vineyards, (and is the first recorded person to be drunk), and began farming again. (Genesis 9:20). As Noah’s descendants multiplied they migrated down to Mesopotamia – modern day Iraq, not far from the Zagros Mountains, and would have continued farming. However, they defied God’s instructions to spread out over the earth and when they began to build the Tower of Babel God judged them and scattered them. (Genesis 11). Such scattered peoples would have taken the knowledge of farming with them, which would account for the many ancient sites containing evidence of farming throughout the Middle East. Therefore, the Science article’s ‘cover all options’ conclusion is on the right track – the evidence of similar farming techniques, is the result of ideas (rebellion against God), migration (expulsion from Babel) and crops (seeds carried from Babel). (Ref. agriculture, domestication, grains)

Evidence News 11 September 2013