Cornucopia’s Take: It has long been thought that the first farmers came from one place and spread out across the world. Recent DNA evidence shows the first farmers sprang up separately and in the same timeframe across the Fertile Crescent. Farming continues to evolve today.
How the First Farmers Changed History
The New York Times
by Carl Zimmer
Beneath a rocky slope in central Jordan lie the remains of a 10,000-year-old village called Ain Ghazal, whose inhabitants lived in stone houses with timber roof beams, the walls and floors gleaming with white plaster.
Hundreds of people living there worshiped in circular shrines and made haunting, wide-eyed sculptures that stood three feet high. They buried their cherished dead under the floors of their houses, decapitating the bodies in order to decorate the skulls.
But as fascinating as this culture was, something else about Ain Ghazal intrigues archaeologists more: It was one of the first farming villages to have emerged after the dawn of agriculture.