By "Founder species," we mean the main plant
and animal species first domesticated in the
Middle-East (def.), then transferred to other mediterranean areas,
subsequently spreading to Northern Europe.
of the early euro-mediterranean agriculture
The following founder species can be mentionned :
wheat (Triticum dicoccum L. ; Triticum aestivum/durum),
oat (Hordeum vulgare L.) ,
pea (Pisum sativum L.),
lentil (Lens esculenta Moench),
Vetch (Vicia narbonensis L.) ,
Evergreen pea (Lathyrus sativus L.),
and flax (Linum usitatissimum L.)
dog (Canis familiaris),
pig (Sus scrofa domesticus),
goat (Capra hircus hircus),
sheep (Ovis aries),
cow (Bos taurus).
These species were used as the starting basis for agricultural development
within the whole Euro-Mediterranean area. Cereals
(def.) and many other domesticated species did not exist as wild plants
in Europe. They were transferred from the Middle-East through the Danube
River and the Mediterranean Sea.
The birth of agriculture in Europe was accompanied
by a revolution in human foods. Mediterranean people stopped
using food-plants from the "Founder garden" and learned to consume food-species
coming from elsewhere.
| History of food & agriculture | Agricultural times | Next