Prehistoric grain evidence discovered in Swiss Alps

Image courtesy of Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern
 
Archeologists from the University of York discovered a lunch box during a dig in the Swiss Alps which suggests that Bronze Age humans took provisions with them while traveling. The wooden container found in an ice patch displays lipid-based biomarkers for whole wheat or rye grain, which would allow researchers to trace the development of early grain farming in Eurasia.

According to the scientific community, this type of discovery is extremely rare because plants are nearly impossible to find in archaeological deposits due to degradation.

“This is an extraordinary discovery, if you consider that of all domesticated plants, wheat is the most widely grown crop in the world and the most important food grain source for humans, lying at the core of many contemporary culinary traditions,” says University of York archeologist André Colonese.

The discovery will enable researchers to gather information on when and how wheat spread throughout the continental landmass.