In West Bank, a First Hint of Agriculture: Figs

John Noble Wilford in the New York Times:

Figs_650_1In the ruins of a prehistoric village near Jericho, in the West Bank, scientists have found remains of figs that they say appear to be the earliest known cultivated fruit crop, perhaps the first evidence anywhere of domesticated food production at the dawn of agriculture. The figs were grown some 11,400 years ago.

Presumably that was well after Adam and Eve tried on the new look in fig leaves, in which case the fig must have grown wild in Eden.

Two botanists and an archaeologist, who describe the discovery in today’s issue of the journal Science, said the figs came from cultivated trees that grew about 1,000 years before such staples as wheat, barley and chickpeas were widely domesticated in the Middle East. These grain and legume crops had been considered the first steps in agriculture.

More here.