Simone Riehl, head of the archaeobotany laboratory in Tübingen, analyzed over 30,000 plant remains of 75 taxa or plant species from Chogha Golan, spanning a period of more than 2,000 years. Her results show that the origins of agriculture in the Near East can be attributed to multiple centres rather than a single core area, and that the Eastern Fertile Crescent played a key role in the process of domestication.
The plant remains from Chogha Golan represent a unique, long-term record of cultivation of wild plant species. Over a period of two millennia, the economy of the site shifted towards the domesticated species that formed the economic basis for the rise of village life and subsequent civilizations in the Middle East. Farmers later took plants including multiple forms of wheat, barley and lentils, together with domestic animals, on their journey across Western Eurasia, gradually replacing the indigenous hunter-gather societies. Many of the plants that were domesticated in the Fertile Crescent provide the basis for the diet of large parts of the world population today. (© Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen)