According to the study done by the researchers on DNA of 6000 years old barley, which was said to be found in Yoram cave Israel, near the Dead Sea. The research has been bring out in the online genre of the journal ‘Nature Genetics’ which highlights the importance of Israel as one of the center for to dwell from which agriculture spread to the rest of the world.
According to the scientists, Uri Davidovich, from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Nimrod Marom, from University of Haifa in Israel, who excavated the cave, Yoram cave is very difficult to access and was used for a short period of time by humans probably for a temporary refuge, they must have cultivated the crops for their survival for a time being. The arid environment conserved the biological integrity of the grains.
The age of the grains was resolved on my splitting them and subjecting half of them to the radiocarbon dating and DNA was extracted from the other half..
After sequencing the genome of Chalcolithic barley grains, the team of researchers, consisting of archaeologists, specialists in ancient DNA analysis and experts in barley and crop genetics reported that the present day barley grown in southern Levant is very similar to the prehistoric barley.
Ehud Weiss of Bar–llan University said, “These archaeological remains provided a unique opportunity for us to finally sequence a Chalcolithic plant genome. The genetic material has been well-preserved for several millennia due to the extreme dryness of the region”.
“For us, ancient DNA works like a time capsule that allows us to travel back in history and look into the domestication of crop plants at distinct time points in the past,” said Johannes Krause, from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena.
“This is just the beginning of a new and exciting line of research,” predicted the second lead author of the study, Dr.Verena Schuenemann, from Tuebingen University, “DNA-analysis of archaeological remains of prehistoric plants will provide us with novel insights into the origin, domestication and spread of crop plants.” She added.