Inhabited 40,000 years ago: the “Aghitu 3 Cave” in the highlands of southern Armenia
Image: Soseh Aghaian, NAS
Tens of thousands of years ago, people knew a lot about crops. This is suggested by DNA traces from an Armenian cave, which Frankfurt researchers have evaluated.
DTraces of NA from a cave in Armenia have revealed to a team from the Senckenberg Institute which plants people used in the Neolithic period. Together with Armenian colleagues and researchers from the Universities of Oslo and Tübingen, they examined sediments from the “Aghitu-3” cave, which was inhabited 40,000 to 25,000 years ago.
Using the genetic material from the deposits, the scientists were able to identify 43 plant orders, specimens of which had found their way into the cave. All but five of these orders are useful to man in one way or another. Some have medicinal properties, others can be used to make flavorings or mosquito repellents, and others can be used as food.
DNA finds from plants that provide dyes or fibers suggest that they were used by Stone Age people to make sewing thread and cord and to thread shell beads.
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