World's Oldest Uncooked Bread Discovered In Turkey

Archaeological remains unearthed around the world keep introducing fascinating stories from the past. Scientists have uncovered truths about how civilisations developed, how society evolved, weapons used, and traditional cooking techniques that kept households running. The same stands true for a recent discovery of an 8,600-year-old uncooked bread that has been found by archaeologists in Turkey, Istanbul. It has been titled the ‘oldest bread in the world’.

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The discovery has reportedly unveiled cooking techniques that people used in 6600 BC. Scientists have found ‘spongy’, round, and palm-sized residue along with barley, pea, and wheat seeds near a structure that looked like an oven. The uncooked fermented bread is currently being studied to understand other traditional techniques that were used by people in that era.

Uncooked Loaf Of Bread Found In Turkey

According to the press release by Turkey’s Necmettin Erbakan University Science and Technology Research and Application Center (BITAM), this loaf of bread found at the Catalhoyuk site is the oldest uncooked fermented bread in the world.  

Archeologist Ali Umut Türkcan, head of the Excavation Delegation and an associate professor at Anadolu University in Turkey told Turkish state news outlet Anadolu Agency, “It is a smaller version of a loaf of bread. It has a finger pressed in the center, it has not been baked, but it has been fermented and has survived to the present day with the starches inside. There is no similar example of something like this to date.”

They had some suspicions, but microscopic images revealed that flour and water were mixed together, and the bread was being prepared next to the oven, where it was left for a while to ferment, biologist Salih Kavak, a lecturer at Gaziantep University in Turkey, added in the press release. Scientists are elated with the discovery because nothing of a similar sort has been found anywhere else around the world. It will allow them to conduct an in-depth study of culinary practices from the past.

He said, “It is an exciting discovery for Turkey and the world.” Both bread and wood were preserved with a thin layer of clay. Catalhoyuk is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is believed to be the home of 8000 people in the Neolithic period from 10,000 BC to 2,000 BC. 

In 2018, an excavation site in Black Desert, Jordan, was surveyed, and scientists found 14,400-year-old breadcrumbs. Those were the burnt remains which according to analysis were made from wild cereals like einkorn, barley, and oats.