Ancient DNA typing indicates that the “new” glume wheat of early Eurasian agriculture is a cultivated member of the Triticum timopheevii group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Amy Bogaard
  • Michael Charles
  • Glynis Jones
  • Marianne Kohler-Schneider
  • Aldona Mueller-Bieniek


We used polymerase chain reactions specific for the wheat B and G genomes with nine accessions of the “new” glume wheat (NGW), a type of cultivated wheat that was present across western Asia and Europe during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages but which apparently died out before the end of the 1st millennium BC. DNA sequences from the G genome were detected in two NGW accessions, the first comprising grain from the mid 7th millennium BC at Çatalhöyük in Turkey, and the second made up of chaff from the later 5th millennium BC site of Miechowice 4 in Kuyavia, Poland. The Miechowice chaff also yielded a B genome sequence, which we ascribe to an admixture of emmer wheat chaff recorded in the sample from which the NGW material was extracted. Our results therefore provide evidence that NGW is a member of the Triticum timopheevii group of wheats. Triticum timopheevii subsp. timopheevii can therefore no longer be looked upon as a minor crop, restricted to western Georgia, but instead must be viewed as a significant component of prehistoric Eurasian agriculture, with implications for our understanding of the origins of agriculture in southwest Asia.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number105258
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Early online date8 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020