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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sunny Millet the Star of China?

Andrew Lawler tells me one more thing I didn't know in this week's Science CiteTrack:

"What was the most important grain in ancient China? If you said rice, you'd be wrong, according to some archaeologists, who believe lowly millet served as the staple grain that allowed Chinese civilization to flourish in ancient times. ... Some researchers say the grain was first domesticated in northern China as early as 8000 B.C.E. and made its way to the Black Sea region of Europe by 5000 B.C.E. If so, it would be a sign of far earlier and extensive connections—going both ways—across the vast Eurasian landmass."

These days, about the only place I see millet is in birdseed and in one of my favorite breads, Sunny Millet.

Full story at http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/325/5943/942?sa_campaign=Email/sntw/21-August-2009/10.1126/science.325_942 (gated)