Our appetite for hot cereal may be a lot older than anyone realized.
Although it's widely believed that humans didn't begin cultivating crops until around 10,000 years ago, scientists exploring a cave in southern Italy say they recently discovered traces of oats on a stone pestle that dates back 32,000 years.
"We already had similar results studying grinding stones from Bilancino (Italy), Pavlov (Moravia) and Kostenki (Russia), dated back about 30,000 years," Dr.
Marta Mariotti Lippi, associate professor of biology at the University of Florence and lead author of a paper describing the discovery, told The Huffington Post in an email.
"At that time, we were surprised that the grinding process was performed in Europe, not only in the Middle East.
Now we were surprised for the heat treatment before grinding." The paper was published online in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on August 6, 2015.
The researchers analyzed plant starches found on the pestle, and discovered traces of , the common wild oat species.
They concluded that the oats might have been heated to make grinding them easier.
And while there is no proof that the oats were made into oatmeal, the researchers believe that it can be "plausibly hypothesized," Science magazine reported.
In academic, historical, and archaeological circles, A. Dates are determined by a variety of processes, including chemical analyses (as in radiocarbon dating and thermoluminescence), data correlation (as in dendrochronology), and a variety of other tests. Acheulean - A stone tool industry, in use from about 1.6 million years ago until 125,000 years ago.
- "Abbreviation for the term Anno Domini Nostri Jesu Christi (or simply Anno Domini) which means ""in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ."" Years are counted from the traditionally recognized year of the birth of Jesus. E.)." Absolute Dating - Collective term for techniques that assign specific dates or date ranges, in calendar years, to artifacts and other archaeological finds.