Thursday, May 23, 2019

Ancient oats

Oats (Avena spp.) were one of the first cereals cultivated by man. They were first grown as weeds in barley and wheat fields in Mesopotamia in about 10,500 BC, though in cloudier, wetter and cooler Europe, oats were selected for cultivation over wheat and barley by about the 7000 BC.

The ancient Greeks are believed to be the first people to have made a recognizable porridge from oats.

Oats were also weeds in ancient fields of wheat and barley in the Near East and certain of them came to be cultivated, though at what date remains uncertain. The Roman historian, Pliny, complained that oats were a highly aggressive weed in cereal crops planted in moist environments though Pliny noted that oats were good for forage production.

In China oats were cultivated already in Han times. Some says that the early oats of China were Avena nuda, presumably introduced from an east European center of domestication.
Ancient oats