Archaeologists Discover Oldest Known Bread in the World

Turkish researchers have discovered what they call “the oldest bread in the world,” dating back to 6600 BC, during excavations at a site from the Neolithic era.

Scientists found a largely “destroyed” oven structure in an area called “Meykan 66,” where there are mud-brick houses, at the Çatalhöyük archaeological site in the Konya province, southern Turkey.

The Research and Application Center for Science and Technology at Necmettin Erbakan University said scientists found around the oven wheat, barley, pea seeds, and residues in a “spongy” form the size of a palm.

Analyses showed that the organic residues were uncooked and fermented bread dating back 8600 years.

Ali Omurturkan, an archaeologist and head of the excavation expedition, said Wednesday: “We can say that this discovery at Çatalhöyük is the oldest bread in the world.”

He added: “It’s a smaller version of a bread loaf. It contains a pressed finger in the middle, it was not baked, but fermented and has remained until today with starch inside. There is no similar example to this so far.”

Salih Çavuş, a lecturer at Gaziantep University, said analyses revealed chemicals present in plants and indicators of fermentation. Flour and water were mixed, and the bread was prepared near the oven and preserved for a period. It’s an exciting discovery for Turkey and the world.”

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