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10 March 2005
Acorn bread was made by ancient Iranians

A small bread oven, grindstone, and the remains of acorns have led archaeologists in Iran to conclude that ancient Iranians baked bread using acorn flour over 3000 years ago.
    The Ayapir cultural heritage team found almost forty kinds of plant species at the ancient site of Izeh in Khuzestan Province, Iran, in a dig carried out prior to the site's submersion under the rising waters of the reservoir of the Karun-3 Dam.
    Hajir Kiani, the head of the team, said “The acorn’s resistance to the elements made it an important foodstuff for the local people. Different parts of the oak tree, such as its fruit and leaves, were used as food and for medicinal purposes. The tools found in the mountains when compared with the tools used by the present-day nomads of the region prove that the baking method has been almost exactly the same for the past 3000 years."
    "The Bakhtiari nomads who currently live in the region grind acorns with a grindstone. Then they put it inside a kind of basket made of thin branches of the almond tree, and put the basket in a stream for about a week. This helps to remove the bitter taste of the acorns. The acorns expand and gradually turn into dough within a week. The only thing left to do is to pick up a handful of the dough, knead it well, and put it on the fire to bake."
    The Karun-3 Dam came online in November last year, causing a rush of Iranian and foreign archaeologists to save what they could before the new resevoir submerged many historical sites, monuments, and artefacts.

Source: Tehran Times (8 March 2005)

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