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Ancient Grinding Tool Embedded With Starch Suggests “Paleo” Diet Was Diverse

September 18, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists exploring a cave in southern Italy report finding a small stone grinding tool embedded with grains of starch. Botanist Marta Mariotti Lippi said the tool dates back 32,000 years; the starch probably came from a wild species of oats that grows in Europe. She suggests that humans at the time were probably grinding the oats into flour. The discovery is interesting because it adds to the evidence that fad ideas about the “Paleolithic diet” may be erroneous. Other studies have shown, for example, that the cereal grain sorghum formed part of the human diet 105,000 years ago.
Marissa Fessenden, "Flour Was Part of the Human Diet 32,000 Years Ago", Smithsonian.com, September 18, 2015, © Smithsonian Magazine
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