"Farming Got Hip In Iran Some 12,000 Years Ago, Ancient Seeds Reveal"

"Archaeologists digging in the foothills of Iran's Zagros Mountains have discovered the remains of a Stone Age farming community. It turns out that people living there were growing plants like barley, peas and lentils as early as 12,000 years ago."

"The findings offer a rare snapshot of a time when humans first started experimenting with farming. They also show that Iran was an important player in the origin of agriculture.

In 2009, archaeologist of the University of Tubingen led an excavation in the foothills of the Zagros, a mountain range that runs along the Iran-Iraq border.

Based on the suggestion of an Iranian colleague, he'd picked an area close to the border with Iraq and began excavating a mound about eight meters high. Before long, they hit pay dirt: The sediments were rich with artifacts. 'Sculpted clay objects, clay cones, depictions of animals and humans,' says Conard."

Rhitu Chatterjee reports for NPR's The Salt blog July 8, 2013.

Source: NPR, 07/09/2013