How barley allowed humans to reach new heights

November 22, 2014 1:01 PM

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How barley allowed humans to reach new heights

Scientists know that humans were kicking around the lower altitudes of the Tibetan Peninsula around 10,000 years ago. Permanent settlements, however, didn't show up in the harsh higher altitudes until 3,600 years ago.

What happened that allowed ancient settlers to survive in a region nicknamed the "roof of the world"? They discovered barley, reports Science. Analysis of charred seeds suggests that humans figured out around that time that barley could be grown at 11,000 feet—unlike their previous staple of millet,...

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