In the Black Desert of Jordan, archaeologists spent several years investigating a site called Shubayqa 1. Why? Because the experts believed that the people who lived there long ago could reveal more about one of humanity’s greatest innovations. So, searching the ruins of a fireplace, the researchers found the ashes of an ancient meal. And the meal’s contents may turn traditional ideas about the development of agriculture on their head.
We know that the earliest humans were hunter-gatherers, of course. Our forebears would, then, forage for edible plants and hunt animals for sustenance. Yet as the seasons changed, so did the availability of food. People would therefore have to migrate to find new sources of nourishment. This way of living actually spans the larger portion of human history. So agriculture and the sedentary life that accompanies it are relatively new inventions.
But there are still a few hunter-gatherer societies in existence. These include the San in the southern part of Africa, the Mbuti in Central Africa and the Copper Inuit in the Arctic. This could be because the areas where these people live are not good places to grow crops or keep animals. So their lifestyles have been studied to help experts understand what ancient hunter-gatherer societies may have been like.