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Stone Age Europeans Made and Ate Flour

New article in Nature supports stone age human consumption of flours. 11/29/2010 - Recent archeological evidence in the form of starch from ground grains found at Stone Age sites suggests early modern humans also consumed various kinds of flour, not just meat alone.

For decades, there has been ample evidence to support meat-eating by early humans. Evidence such as stone blades used for hunting and animal bones bearing cut-marks have been are common finds. This evidence has supported a view that early humans were nearly total carnivores. 

In contrast, very little evidence has been found to show plant and grain consumption. This may be due, at least in part to the lower environmental impact of plant use; plants leave far fewer traces.

The evidence was partially obscured by standard archaeological practice of washing the grinding tools used to process plants, removing any preserved plant matter.

In the latest discovery, scientists found flour residues on 30,000-year-old grinding stones from Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic. This indicates widespread processing and consumption of plant grains, according to Laura Longo, an archaeologist at the University of Siena in Italy and an author on the paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

These new finds provide some of the first evidence that early humans ate ground flour 20,000 years before the dawn of agriculture.

"It's another nail in the coffin of the idea that hunter–gatherers didn't use plants for food," says Ofer Bar-Yosef, a Harvard University archaeologist not involved in the study.

Additional work in recent years has also revealed a handful of Stone Age sites in the Near East with evidence for plant-eating.

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3 Responses:

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said this on
29 Nov 2010 6:17:44 AM PST
Now hopefully all of those people who mistakenly believe that celiac is simply a "natural" result of humans not "evolving" to eat grain will finally put their argument to rest. The fact is, celiac is an autoimmune DISEASE that occurs when the body loses tolerance for gluten and develops an autoimmune response to it. Yes it has a genetic component, but as a rule you are not born with it. Identical twin studies only have 70-80% concordance, and studies have shown that many patients develop celiac after testing negative for many years. I had no symptoms or positive blood work until one day I was exposed to the unknown environmental trigger(s) for celiac. In my case it seemed to be a viral infection and a vaccine given at the same time. In a matter of weeks, I had lost 20 lbs, and could not eat "normally" without immediately becoming sick. My blood work was off the charts positively, along with my biopsy. Celiac is a disease, much like Type 1 diabetes or Multiple Sclerosis, not a normal disposition. This is important so we can find a cure for celiac, and for ALL autoimmune diseases. Something in our environment is causing our immune systems to respond in a negative manner to "normal" stimuli. Celiac is NOT a "normal" or healthy response to a food protein

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said this on
26 Apr 2011 8:28:20 PM PST
I would love to know what medical basis you have for stating the above, because you're wrong. Yes it is an autoimmune. Some people have symptoms younger than others. I had symptoms 20 years before I diagnosed myself. I also have a wide array of other autoimmune symptoms as do most people with gluten intolerance. Yes viral infections are implicated in late onset gluten sensitivities as compared to childhood celiac diagnoses, but it is more so because the viral overload weakens the body to a point it can no longer mask the symptoms. Celiac or gluten intolerance is the ROOT of autoimmune diseases and you would know this if you have done enough research as I have over the past 10 years. Many of my patients with autoimmune diseases can reduce or completely clear up their autoimmune symptoms by going on a gluten free diet. the reason for the growth of gluten issues is because of the hybridization of wheat, you would also know this if you actually did a little reading.

And honestly this article doesn't prove anything about people eating grains. Maybe they ground the grains up to make glue. as Dr Weston Price showed people on native hunter-gatherer diets had no diabetes, osteoporosis, type 1 diabetes or autoimmune diseases. only when grains were added to the diets did stature change and the above mentioned diseases creep in. One thing that is not mentioned in the article that would be very telling is where these stone age sites were. I bet they were in the grain belt of the middle east.

Did you realize the reason why most people are addicted to wheat products is that it turns into opiates in the blood? It makes people feel good, therefore those deprived of their favorite yummy treat will go to all sorts of lengths to insist that there must be a cure so they can have that rush again. sigh.

Harriet Rimell
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said this on
29 Nov 2010 4:41:39 PM PST
Very happy to have that settled and explained in an intelligent manner. I plan to use part of this explanation to help friends and co-workers realize this disease (I had a doctor correct me and call it a "condition') can be very dangerous like diabetes and is not to be dismissed as a condition or disposition! It is important that friends, relatives and your primary care doctor be educated to it's seriousness and be supportive to the same degree they would be to the well known autoimmune diseases.

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