The paper includes a photo of the fireplace and structure where the team found the oldest of the charred bread remains.
It is one of the most beautiful site photos I’ve ever seen in an archaeological paper: Ethnobotanical and experimental evidence indicates club-rush tubers are best consumed as gruel or flour to make bread, instead of boiling or steaming (18, 19).
I haven’t written about these cases yet, but I have to say this forensic approach may be the most significant story in human genetics this year.Archaeologists working at Shubayqa 1, a site in northeastern Jordan, found tiny fragments of an ancient unleavened bread as they were excavating a hearth.to samples from crime scenes and thereby identifying suspects by finding their genetic relatives.Today NBC News is running an article that reports on a new case solved with genealogy, and gives some broader perspective: “‘This is just the beginning’: Using DNA and genealogy to crack years-old cold cases”.But I don’t think there’s anything ridiculous about the idea of DNA genealogy companies “tipping the scales” on ancestry results.
For one thing, during just the last few months, we’ve seen a number of stories in which DNA genealogy testing companies gave “Native American” ancestry to samples that (without the companies’ knowledge) had been taken from dogs.
Larry Barham of the University of Liverpool and international collaborators have a field project in Zambia examining the “Deep Roots of Human Behavior”, investigating the beginning of compound tools and the transition to the Middle Stone Age.
Last year the project disseminated its fieldwork by a very successful blog.
Then, this spring, that company, Parabon Nano Labs, called back, offering to perform a new type of DNA testing that went far beyond the traditional biometric match police labs use.
Fort Wayne agreed, and six weeks later the company’s lead researcher reported that she’d narrowed the list of potential suspects to two brothers.
Pure club-rush tuber bread is brittle, crumbly, and flaky, but the addition of bread wheat () flour (i.e., gluten) allows for the production of elastic dough that can be pressed onto the walls of a tandir-type oven structure and be baked (18).