Barley key to ancient settlement of Tibetan Plateau

November 21, 2014 4:58 AM

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While hardier grains enabled the ancient move into thinner air, it was actually cooling temperatures that necessitated it.

"As barley is frost hardy and cold-tolerant, it is growing very well on the Tibetan Plateau even today," Fahu Chen, an archaeologist at Lanzhou University in China, told The New York Times in an e-mail. "Barley agriculture could provide people with enough sustained food supplies even during winterti...

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