FOOD HISTORY TIMELINE
50,000 BC to 1 BC
50,000 BC Cave dwellers left wild date seeds along with evidence of pine nuts, walnuts, acorns, chestnuts etc. in the Shanidar Cave located in Northern Iraq.
35,000 BC Fruits, nuts, roots were being gathered for food. No cultivation.
29,000 BC Paleolithic people in Central Europe cook mammoth and other animals in cooking pits.
12,000 BC Einkorn may have been the first domesticated grain.
11,000 BC Figs trees may have been domesticated. Dried figs found in the lower Jordan Valley in Israel (2006) have been dated to about 11,400 BC. They are a variety that is sterile, so the people may have learned to cultivate new trees by planting shoots.
10,000 BC Goats were domesticated in the Near East by this time.
10,000 BC Crude forms of flatbread were being made.
10,000 BC Emmer emerged as the 2nd domesticated grain, in Egypt.
9,300 BC Evidence of systematic storage of wild grains discovered near the Dead Sea in Jordan. 1,000 to 2,000 years before cultivation of domesticated species.
9,000 BC Sheep were domesticated by this time.
8,000 BC Pigs were domesticated in China by this time.
7,000 BC Apples possibly cultivated in southwestern Asia.
6,700 BC Earliest evidence for domestication of corn (Found in Mexico, 2009)
6,500 BC Cattle were domesticated by this time.
6,000 BC Lima Beans were being cultivated in Peru.
6,000 BC Fava Beans were being used in the eastern Mediterranean region.
6,000 BC Chili peppers and squash were part of the Meso-American diet.
6,000 BC Citrus fruit ancestor (citron) may have been grown in India at this time.
5,900 BC Earliest evidence for millet consumption in western China.
5,000 BC Aniseed elixir is mentioned as a remedy for plague and cholera in the Book of Genesis.
5,000 BC Rice is being cultivated in China.
5,000 BC Maize (corn) was being cultivated in the Andes.
4,000 BC Grapes were probably being cultivated in the area southeast of the Black Sea (Afghanistan, etc.)
3,500 BC Horses were domesticated for milk and riding in what is now northern Kazakhstan.
3,500 BC Based on excavations of the Early Bronze Age, it is believed that the pomegranate was one of the first cultivated fruits.
3,000 BC Potatoes were being cultivated in the Andes Mountains in South America.
3,000 BC The Egyptians discovered yeast leavening. They fermented flour and water mixtures using wild, air-borne yeast. (But they did not understand that it was the airborne yeast that caused the bread to rise)
3,000 BC Flaxseed was being cultivated by the Babylonians.
3,000 BC The Chinese were eating noodles.
3,000 BC Sorghum used in sub-Saharan Africa.
3,000 BC Five sacred crops in ancient China: soybeans, rice, wheat, barley and millet
3,000 BC Egyptian tomb paintings picture fish ponds and fruit trees.
2,737 BC Legend has it that Chinese Emperor Shen Nung discovered tea when some tea leaves floated into a pot of drinking water being boiled. (Boiled water was believed to be healthier).
2,000 BC Olives, peaches and apricots cultivated in Eastern Mediterranean.
1,600 BC The pomegranate was brought to Egypt from Syria during the rule of the Hyksos.
1,550 BC Egyptian papyrus scroll (Ebers Papyrus) discovered in 1884 lists hundreds of medicinals, including anise, saffron, fenugreek, mustard, fennel, cardamon, garlic, thyme and poppy seeds.
1,325 BC Tutankhamen tomb contained seeds and plant products including watermelon, lentils, almond, date palm, cumin and coriander.
1,000 BC Peanuts were cultivated in Peru.
957 BC Pillars in Solomon's temple in Jerusalem were decorated with pomegranates.
776 BC The first Olympic champion listed in the records was a cook, Coroebus of Elis, who won the sprint race in 776 BC.
4th Century BC Sushi originated in Southeast Asia in the 4th century B.C. as a method for preserving fish. The fermentation of the rice prevented the fish from spoiling.
372 BC Theophrastus was born. He was an important Greek naturalist philosopher who had studied with Aristotle. He wrote many treatises on plants, only two of which survive.
350 BC Archestratus writes 'Hedypatheia' (Pleasant Living).One of the earliest cookbooks, mentioned by Athenaeus.
287 BC Theophrastus died. He was an important Greek naturalist philosopher who had studied with Aristotle. He wrote many treatises on plants, only two of which survive.
255 BC The term 'don't upset the apple cart' was first used by Roman playwright Plautus in 255 B.C. in his play 'Epiducus'.
125 BC Pomegranates were introduced to China.
100 BC Romans begin cultivating oysters in beds.
45 BC New Year's Day was celebrated for the first time on January 1 when the Julian calendar took effect.
44 BC Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of Roman senators. ("beware the Ides of March").
10 B.C. Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus was born. (Emperor of Rome A.D. 41-54). Known as Claudius I, supposedly he was poisoned with mushrooms by his wife Agrippina, after her son Nero was named as his heir.
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