14,000-year-old seeds indicate the Levantine origin of the lost progenitor of faba bean

Valentina Caracuta, Mina Weinstein-Evron, Daniel Kaufman, Reuven Yeshurun, Jeremie Silvent, Elisabetta Boaretto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The understanding of crop domestication is dependent on tracking the original geographical distribution of wild relatives. The faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is economically important in many countries around the world; nevertheless, its origin has been debated because its ancestor could not be securely identified. Recent investigations in the site of el-Wad (Mount Carmel, Israel), provide the first and, so far, only remains of the lost ancestor of faba bean. X-ray CT scan analysis of the faba beans provides the first set of measurements of the biometry of this species before its domestication. The presence of wild specimens in Mount Carmel, 14,000 years ago, supports that the wild variety grew nearby in the Lower Galilee where the first domestication was documented for Neolithic farmers 10,200 years ago.

Original languageEnglish
Article number37399
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 23 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The excavation at EWT (IAA license #G-20/2006, G-3/2007, G-2/2008, G-4/2009, G-5/2010, G-6/2012, G-4/2015) was made possible thanks to the ISF (grant 913/01 and grant 475/10), the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Irene Levi-Sala Care Archaeological Foundation, the Faculty of Humanities, University of Haifa, the Carmel Drainage Authority and Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.

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