Wheat & Milling

Wheat is one of the oldest foods in the world. Its discovery helped transform Homo sapiens from hunter-gatherers into farmers. Civilisations arose where soil was fertile and wheat could be irrigated.

Initially, man would have eaten the grains raw and found them useful as a food source in winter because they could be stored if kept dry. Wild plants provided grains that could be harvested and ground using stones, mixed with water and formed into cakes that were dried in the sun or baked on hot stones.

Stone Age farmers in the Middle East 9000 years ago were probably the first to cultivate cereal grains, such as wheat and barley. They also developed bread wheat from a cross of wild wheats and grasses.

 

Fantastic Fact

woman

Studies of women's bones from a 10 000 year old Neolithic settlement in Syria show damage to their toes, knees, and vertebrate.

This was probably due to long hours spent kneeling before saddle-shaped stones called saddle querns on which they rolled stones to crush the grains.