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Early humans at Gobekli Tepe did not live on meat, as earlier supposed


Readers may remember Gobekli Tepe, that remarkable 12,000-year-old complex that seems to have been the gathering point of a civilization:

We are told that our ancestors got smart by eating meat or fat but now:

Over the past four years, Dietrich has discovered that the people who built these ancient structures were fuelled by vat-fulls of porridge and stew, made from grain that the ancient residents had ground and processed on an almost industrial scale1. The clues from Göbekli Tepe reveal that ancient humans relied on grains much earlier than was previously thought — even before there is evidence that these plants were domesticated. And Dietrich’s work is part of a growing movement to take a closer look at the role that grains and other starches had in the diet of people in the past.

The researchers are using a wide range of techniques — from examining microscopic marks on ancient tools to analysing DNA residues inside pots. Some investigators are even experimentally recreating 12,000-year-old meals using methods from that time. Looking even further back, evidence suggests that some people ate starchy plants more than 100,000 years ago. Taken together, these discoveries shred the long-standing idea that early people subsisted mainly on meat — a view that has fuelled support for the palaeo diet, popular in the United States and elsewhere, which recommends avoiding grains and other starches.

Andrew Curry, “How ancient people fell in love with bread, beer and other carbs” at Nature

So you still don’t believe that starch is responsible for human brain evolution? Well, there is always sugar.

No, wait… also popcorn. To evolve smartness, try popcorn, candy floss, and marshmallows. People had to be smart to invent popcorn, candy floss, and marshmallows. Let’s get in while we can.

Polistra - I think they mainly come from cave paintings in Europe. Most of them predate Gobekli Tepe by a few tens of thousand of years, of course. EDTA - did we go to the same school? I don't think I've ever had tapioca since I was 11. Bob O'H
Maybe they fished for coelocanths Seversky
>" Some investigators are even experimentally recreating 12,000-year-old meals using methods from that time." We had those in my college cafeteria. Recreated each and every day! EDTA
I hadn't stopped to think about this before. Where did the Flintstone image come from anyway? If your main tools are a stick and a stone, you're not going to kill T Rex. What can you do easily with a stick and a stone? Thresh and mill wheat. polistra

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