Ancient Peruvians cultivated crops 10,000 years ago

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The long-held notion that agriculture in Europe started a good 5,000 years before developing in the Americas, has been challenged by new evidence suggesting that farming started in the Old World and New World almost simultaneously.

The evidence, in the form of Peruvian squash seeds, signifies that planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting in the New and Old Worlds was almost concurrent.

In a paper published in the journal Science last June, anthropological archaeologist Tom Dillehay from the Vanderbilt University revealed that the squash seeds he found in the remnants of what may have been ancient storage bins on the lower western slopes of the Andes in northern Peru are almost 10,000 years old.

"I don't want to play the early button game, but the temporal gap between the Old and New World, in terms of a first pulse toward civilization, is beginning to close," Discover magazine quoted him, as saying.

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