The domestication of trees is a topic that interests archaeologists as it is not as well understood as the processes involving other crops. However, the discovery of ancient peach pits from the Yangtze Valley in China has shed some light on this long process which started 7500 years ago. By around 4,300 to 5300 years ago, the peaches started to look like the domesticated peaches currently produced and consumed. According to the researchers, ancient Chinese farmers used techniques such as grafting and vegetative reproduction to develop specific types of peaches.
For all you food lovers, there is some spicy news on the archaeological forefront. Researchers are suggesting that Capsicum annuum, one of the most common chili peppers sold today, was domesticated in central-east Mexico. The researchers combined a variety of methods to better understand the domestication of this small, yet potent fruit.
Many staple foods consumed around the world today are rich in starch (e.g. maize, cassava). It would seem that these foods are not only important for us humans, but apparently played a role in dog domestication as well!
Interesting new data suggests that the domestication of dogs from wolves was made easier by developing the ability to digest carbohydrate-rich foods, which were likely found in garbage dumps among farming communities.
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