Nuts grow on trees — sometimes.
Around the end of the last ice age, there were nut trees in the Fertile Crescent, as well as ancestral wheat and other grains (AND legumes AND drupes and also something called “pulses“), when hunter-gatherers settled down and invented farming there.
Terminology was not so important back then. People just went with things that were nutritious, tasted good, and could be cultivated. Besides the above nuts/drupes/legumes, there were (and still are) goodies like pistachios . . .
. . . and oak trees. Yes, acorns are edible, but they take a lot of preparation:
Life was good in the Fertile Crescent. One thing led to another . . .
. . . and rodents began to infest the new settlements and eat up the precious crop stores.
Life was good for these pests, too — most small predators stayed avoided these newfangled farms and towns.
But one little carnivore in the region could approach humans. By doing so, at least 10,000 years ago, it found an all-you-can-eat buffet in our barns and homes.
Besides keeping the rodents controlled, it was cute, not very dangerous, and responded well to treats. Soon we were welcoming this animal, which we’ll meet this Friday, into our homes.
And again, one thing led to another, until here we are today:
Featured image: Thanker212, CC BY-ND 2.0