On the Origin of Apples
The distribution of agricultural products over time is a fascinating way to study human migration over millenia. Anthropologically and medically, you really can tell a lot about people by what is in their poop! There are some products, like tobacco, which had their advent well within recorded history and so most people know that it originated in the America's and was transported to the rest of the world. Over time, the desire for tobacco products ended up driving crop dispersion and human migration for centuries.
|Purdue horticultural research!!|
Why would it even be a consideration? I mean, the apple tree is an ancient and honored part of English history. It has to be a universal plant, being in the Bible and all. Right? Wrong. When people wonder what good the Romans brought with them, the list is always one item too short: apples. They brought apples with them. Not all the way from Kazakhstan, of course, but from the edges of the Silk Road all the way into the British Isles. I can not find at the time of writing any evidence for any sort of indigenous apple tree in Bronze Age Wales. It is equally true, however, there also does not appear to be any evidence of remains from Kazakhstan suggesting the apple was there at that time either. Plenty of paleogenetic evidence to suggest it is so, but that evidence is accessible because the apple is, in fact, there now.