17
Oct
09

And now for something completely different

Rarely do I talk about domestication (ok, so I’ve never talked about it before). I just figured I’d share a bit of interesting things about the domestication of the date palm. The wild stock from which the date palm originates was identified by Zohary and Spiegel-Roy in 1975. The fruits of wild form of date palms are smaller with very little pulp (the tasty part around the seed) and are very bitter and indigestible with only a few wild individuals actually being palatable.  It is easily seen, however, that these palatable phenotypes were eaten and subsequently planted (either intentionally or accidentally) near human settlements. Populations were already sessile owing to the previous domestication of grains and pulses. (~11,000 yBP) That means the trees which tasted better were more frequently eaten with the pits discarded near the settlements. Domesticated date palms were being cultivated within 7,000 years of the domestication of staple crops as recorded in cuneiform tablets dating to 4000 yBP. Additionally, written records from the first Babylonian dynasty indicate that date palms were already being hand pollinated by that time.

Advertisements

1 Response to “And now for something completely different”


  1. October 18, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    That makes complete sense. Early cultivation equals good tasting plants being brought ‘home’ and the seeds tossed close to the community allowing good tasting fruit trees to grow around settlements.

    We can even ‘reason’ that early communities would feel that some supernatural force was ‘blessing’ them with ‘abundance'(not having to travel far for delicious fruits).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Join the best atheist themed blogroll!

RSS Adventures in Ethics and Science

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Blag Hag

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS denialism blog

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS ERV

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Greg Laden’s Blog

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Laelaps

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Lawful Good Wonk

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Pharyngula

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Tetrapod Zoology

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS White Coat underground

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Older stuff

wordpress stats

%d bloggers like this: