La Moqueta Verde

The significance of that botanical wealth for humans is illustrated by the geographer Mark Blumler's studies of wild grass distributions. Among the world's thousands of wild grass species, Blumler tabulated the 56 with the largest seeds, the cream of nature's crop: the grass species with seeds at least 10 times heavier than the median grass species. Virtually all of them are native of the Mediterranean zones or other seasonally dry environments. Furthermore, they are overwhelmingly concentrated in the Fertile Crescent or other parts of western Eurasia's Mediterranean zone, which offered a huge selection to incipient farmers: about 32 of the world's 56 prized wild grasses! Specifically, barley and emmer wheat, the two earliest important crops of the Fertile Crescent, rank respectively 3rd and 13th in the seed size among those top 56. In contrast, the Mediterranean zones of Chile offered only two of those species, California and southern Africa just one each, and southwestern Australia none at all. That fact alone goes a long way towards explaining the course of human history.
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Society
Jared Diamond

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