The world has a lot to thank farming for, says Jules, not least the cultivation of grain without which we wouldn’t have beer – the catalyst for many a great invention
In 1978 at Lavagnone near lake Garda in Italy, a discovery was made in a peat bog which revealed the world’s oldest surviving plough. It dates to around 2000 BC, and its shape ties in nicely with older rock art images of early ploughman. This simple implement describes one of the most fundamental stages in mankind’s development: the advent of farming, and the cultivation of crops. Of them, grain was perhaps the most important, not only because of its use in bread and animal feed, but because without it you can’t make beer, for which our ancesters got a taste thousands of years ago.