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Jomon Era Soybean Cultivation?

 
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:38 pm    Post subject: Jomon Era Soybean Cultivation? Reply with quote
Soybean find suggests 5,000 year cultivation
The Yomiuri Shimbun

A research team has found evidence suggesting soybeans were cultivated in Japan about 5,000 years ago.

The team, which includes officials of Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art, announced recently traces of the nation's oldest cultivated species of soybeans had been found in a clay pot excavated in Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture.

The pot, which dates back to the Jomon period (ca 10,000 B.C.-ca 300 B.C.), had a cavity on the tip of a fractured handle in which the researchers believe a soybean became embedded.

Traces of soybeans have previously been found in late Jomon period pottery dating back about 3,500 years that has been excavated in Kumamoto and other prefectures in Kyushu.

However, the pot excavated from Sakenomiba remains in Nagasakacho, Hokuto, in 1995, dates back a further 1,500 years.

"This finding shows that people living in the Jomon period had access to a greater variety of foods, by cultivating plants as well as hunting and foraging, than previously believed," one researcher said.

A copy of the soybean trace was created using silicon resin through the so-called replica SEM method, after being examined with an electron microscope.

The researchers said the soybean was 11.9 millimeters long, 5.7 millimeters wide and 3.7 millimeters thick. Judging from the size and shape of the soybean, they believe it was a cultivated species.

(Oct. 22, 2007)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
"scientists are still evaluating the recent discoveries of tofurkey in Jomon period pottery excavations; however, it is becoming increasingly clear that soymilk was used in many Jomon lattes, which may be an indicator of widespread lactose intolerance among the early Japanese."
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