Israeli Archaeologists Unveil Stone Age Man’s Plant Diet

In this handout photo provided by Israel Antiquities Authority, Workers labor at archaeological excavations that uncovered a 1,800 year old bathing pool on November 22, 2010 in Jerusalem, Israel. The discovery was made in the area where a miqve or male bath is to be built. (Photo by Shlomi Amami/Israel …
Shlomi Amami/Israel Antiquities Authority via Getty

The Algemeiner reports: – Remains of plants believed to be 780,000 years old were unearthed during excavations at Gesher Bnot Yaakov, a Stone Age archaeological site in the Hula Valley in northern Israel. The discovery provides proof of a plant-based diet in the Paleolithic era, countering the common claim that ancient humans’ diet was based heavily on animal products.

In a study published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Prof. Naama Goren-Inbar of the Institute of Archaeology revealed that more than 20,000 remains of edible plants were discovered at the site, providing evidence of the variety of plants and vegetables available to prehistoric humans. The discovery is the “earliest known archive of food plants,” according to the study.

“In recent years, we were met with a golden opportunity to reveal numerous remains of fruits, nuts and seeds from trees, shrubs and the lake, alongside the remains of animals and man-made stone tools in one locality,” said Goren-Inbar, who — along with Bar-Ilan University’s Dr. Yoel Melamed — identified 55 species of edible plants.


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