How ancient lentils reveal social inequalities
I am very much excited, sad and at the same time surprised reading the article of Mary Shepperson published in Guardian and shared by Teaching Tools in Plant Biology.
I am excited because lentils (Lens culinaris Medik.) is one of my favorite legumes on which I have worked extensively on its physiological and phylogenetic aspects during my doctoral research and the present archeological work deals with the ancient lentils.
The reason for my sadness is that the ICARDA (International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas) at Aleppo, Syria which supplied me the seed samples of all the wild species of lentils like, Lens orientalis, Lens odomensis, Lens nigricans and Lens ervoides (spread across Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Canada and France) was bombarded by ISIS and not only this Institute but Aleppo city is now completely devastated.
I am surprised and happy because present excavation work carried out by the researchers of University College, London at the Prehistoric site of Gurga Chiya at Iraqi Kurdistan reveals that lentils caused social transformation or social inequalities thousands of years before (c.a 5,300 - 4,300 BC). According to these researchers lentils found in the rooms of the excavation cites not only helping us to define the architecture of the houses in permanent settlement but also telling us about life in fifth millennium BCE Gurga Chiya.
I congratulate researchers for carrying out this extensive and exciting work, Guardian for publishing this story and Teaching Tools for Plant Biology for sharing this work.