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Grinding flour in Upper Palaeolithic Europe (25000 years bp)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Biancamaria Aranguren
Archaeological Department of Tuscany, Florence, Italy (Email:
Roberto Becattini
Department of Plant Biology, Florence University, Italy (Email:;
Marta Mariotti Lippi
Department of Plant Biology, Florence University, Italy (Email:;
Anna Revedin
Italian Institute of Prehistory & Protohistory, Florence, Italy (Email:


The authors have identified starch grains belonging to wild plants on the surface of a stone from the Gravettian hunter-gatherer campsite of Bilancino (Florence, Italy), dated to around 25000bp. The stone can be seen as a grindstone and the starch has been extracted from locally growing edible plants. This evidence can be claimed as implying the making of flour – and presumably some kind of bread – some 15 millennia before the local ‘agricultural revolution’.

Research Article
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. 2007

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