HISTORY

and before History
mindblowingscience:

It’s the pits: Ancient peach stones offer clues to fruit’s origins

Anyone who enjoys biting into a sweet, fleshy peach can now give thanks to the people who first began domesticating this fruit: Chinese farmers who lived 7,500 years ago.
In a study published today in PLOS ONE, Gary Crawford, a U of T Mississauga anthropology professor, and two Chinese colleagues propose that the domestic peaches enjoyed worldwide today can trace their ancestry back at least 7,500 years ago to the lower Yangtze River Valley in Southern China, not far from Shanghai. The study, headed by Yunfei Zheng from the Zhejiang Institute of Archeology in China’s Zhejiang Province, was done in collaboration with Crawford and X. Chen, another researcher at the Zhejang Institute.
"Previously, no one knew where peaches were domesticated," said Crawford. "None of the botanical literature suggested the Yangtze Valley, although many people thought that it happened somewhere in China."
Radiocarbon dating of ancient peach stones (pits) discovered in the Lower Yangtze River Valley indicates that the peach seems to have been diverged from its wild ancestors as early as 7,500 years ago.
Archeologists have a good understanding of domestication – conscious breeding for traits preferred by people– of annual plants such as grains (rice, wheat, etc.), but the role of trees in early farming and how trees were domesticated is not well documented. Unlike most trees, the peach matures very quickly, producing fruit within two to three years, so selection for desirable traits could become apparent relatively quickly. The problem that Crawford and his colleagues faced was how to recognize the selection process in the archeological record.
Peach stones are well represented at archeological sites in the Yangtze valley, so they compared the size and structure of the stones from six sites that spanned a period of roughly 5,000 years. By comparing the size of the stones from each site, they were able to discern peaches growing significantly larger over time in the Yangtze valley, demonstrating that domestication was taking place. The first peach stones in China most similar to modern cultivated forms are from the Liangzhu culture, which flourished 4,300 to 5300 years ago.
"We’re suggesting that very early on, people understood grafting and vegetative reproduction, because it sped up selection," Crawford said. "They had to have been doing such work, because seeds have a lot of genetic variability, and you don’t know if a seed will produce the same fruit as the tree that produced it. It’s a gamble. If they simply started grafting, it would guarantee the orchard would have the peaches they wanted."
Crawford and his colleagues think that it took about 3,000 years before the domesticated peach resembled the fruit we know today.
"The peaches we eat today didn’t grow in the wild," Crawford added. "Generation after generation kept selecting the peaches they enjoyed. The product went from thinly fleshed, very small fruit to what we have today. Peaches produce fruit over an extended season today but in the wild they have a short season. People must have selected not only for taste and fruit size, but for production time too."
Discovering more about the origins of domesticated peaches tells us more about our human ancestors, too, Crawford noted.
Crops such as domesticated peaches indicate that early people weren’t passive in dealing with the environment. Not only did they understand grain production, but the woodlands and certain trees were being manipulated early on.
"There is a general sense that people in the past were not as smart as we are," said Crawford. "The reality is that they were modern humans with the brain capacity and talents that we have now.
"People have been changing the environment to suit their needs for a very long time, and the domestication of peaches helps us understand this.”

mindblowingscience:

It’s the pits: Ancient peach stones offer clues to fruit’s origins

Anyone who enjoys biting into a sweet, fleshy peach can now give thanks to the people who first began domesticating this fruit: Chinese farmers who lived 7,500 years ago.

In a study published today in PLOS ONE, Gary Crawford, a U of T Mississauga anthropology professor, and two Chinese colleagues propose that the domestic peaches enjoyed worldwide today can trace their ancestry back at least 7,500 years ago to the lower Yangtze River Valley in Southern China, not far from Shanghai. The study, headed by Yunfei Zheng from the Zhejiang Institute of Archeology in China’s Zhejiang Province, was done in collaboration with Crawford and X. Chen, another researcher at the Zhejang Institute.

"Previously, no one knew where peaches were domesticated," said Crawford. "None of the botanical literature suggested the Yangtze Valley, although many people thought that it happened somewhere in China."

Radiocarbon dating of ancient peach stones (pits) discovered in the Lower Yangtze River Valley indicates that the peach seems to have been diverged from its wild ancestors as early as 7,500 years ago.

Archeologists have a good understanding of domestication – conscious breeding for traits preferred by people– of annual plants such as grains (rice, wheat, etc.), but the role of trees in early farming and how trees were domesticated is not well documented. Unlike most trees, the peach matures very quickly, producing  within two to three years, so selection for desirable traits could become apparent relatively quickly. The problem that Crawford and his colleagues faced was how to recognize the selection process in the archeological record.

Peach stones are well represented at archeological sites in the Yangtze valley, so they compared the size and structure of the stones from six sites that spanned a period of roughly 5,000 years. By comparing the size of the stones from each site, they were able to discern peaches growing significantly larger over time in the Yangtze valley, demonstrating that domestication was taking place. The first peach stones in China most similar to modern cultivated forms are from the Liangzhu culture, which flourished 4,300 to 5300 years ago.

"We’re suggesting that very early on, people understood grafting and vegetative reproduction, because it sped up selection," Crawford said. "They had to have been doing such work, because seeds have a lot of genetic variability, and you don’t know if a seed will produce the same fruit as the tree that produced it. It’s a gamble. If they simply started grafting, it would guarantee the orchard would have the peaches they wanted."

Crawford and his colleagues think that it took about 3,000 years before the domesticated peach resembled the fruit we know today.

"The peaches we eat today didn’t grow in the wild," Crawford added. "Generation after generation kept selecting the peaches they enjoyed. The product went from thinly fleshed, very small fruit to what we have today. Peaches produce fruit over an extended season today but in the wild they have a short season. People must have selected not only for taste and fruit size, but for production time too."

Discovering more about the origins of domesticated peaches tells us more about our human ancestors, too, Crawford noted.

Crops such as domesticated peaches indicate that early people weren’t passive in dealing with the environment. Not only did they understand grain production, but the woodlands and certain trees were being manipulated early on.

"There is a general sense that people in the past were not as smart as we are," said Crawford. "The reality is that they were modern humans with the brain capacity and talents that we have now.

"People have been changing the environment to suit their needs for a very long time, and the domestication of  helps us understand this.”

(via energycrow)

Mohammed or Muhammad and his family tree.

Muhammad was born in 570 to a respectable though not wealthy or powerful clan of the Quraysh tribe. His father died before he was born, his mother shortly afterward, leaving Muhammad under the care of his grandparents and uncle.

The Scripture of the Maiden in Terror (Lore)

confidentiallyconfusing:

Once, there was a maiden…

…who knew some things about a man. He didn’t like that, but he kissed her anyway. She told him everything in her heart:

She whispered truths to him, but he didn’t care.

She whispered hopes to him, but he didn’t care.

She whispered her prayers, but heard only silence.

And she whispered her fear to him, but he didn’t care.

He looked upon her inner self,

and the void met his eyes.

“To know the world is to fear it,” said he.

(via energycrow)

greatestgeneration:

Servicemen at Fort Benning, Georgia show the proper set-up and components of a SCR-284 field radio. 24 July 1944.

U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph, Gift in Memory of Maurice T. White, from the collection of The National WWII Museum

(Source: ww2online.org)

historical-nonfiction:

Spartan warriors were known for their long, flowing hair. Before a battle, they would carefully comb it. Cowardly soldiers would have half their hair and half their beards shaved off.

(Source: facts.randomhistory.com)

geeknook:

An animated re-telling of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Caterbury Tales. Featured in this video are the Squire’s Tale, Canon’s Servant’s Tale, Miller’s Tale and the Reeve’s Tale.

*This video contains scenes that some viewers may find vulgar and disturbing. Watch responsibly.

**This video is intended for the study of the literary selection. Critical thinking is highly encouraged.

(Source: )

geeknook:

An animated re-telling of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Featured in this video are the Nun’s Priest’s Tale, the Knight’s Tale and the Wife of Bath’s Tale.

*This video contains scenes that others may find vulgar and disturbing. Watch responsibly.

**This video is intended for the study on the literary selection. Critical thinking is highly encouraged while watching this video.

(Source: )

geeknook:

An animated re-telling of Geoffrey Chaucer’s  The Canterbury Tales. Featured in this video are the Merchant’s Tale, the Pardoner’s Tale and the Franklin’s Tale.

*This video contains scenes that others may find vulgar and disturbing. Watch responsibly.

**This video is intended for the study of the literary selection. Critical thinking is highly encouraged while watching this video.

(Source: )

teajaylore:

[image description: A wooden sign nailed to a tree in a forest, probably in fall or winter. In simple script, the sign reads, “DON’T iNSULT THE WiTCH”]

teajaylore:

[image description: A wooden sign nailed to a tree in a forest, probably in fall or winter. In simple script, the sign reads, “DON’T iNSULT THE WiTCH”]

(Source: scandinaviansky, via energycrow)