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The diagram shows the Evolution of Wheat, from the prehistoric
Stone Age grasses to Spelt, Durum Wheat and Bread Wheat.
Wild Einkorn hybridised with a Goat Grass at least 30,000 years
ago to produce Wild Emmer. About 10,000 years ago, when this began
to be cultivated by hunter-gatherers for food, their subconscious
plant selection slowly created Cultivated Emmer with larger
Later, as this became more widely cultivated, it spread into
the natural habitat of another wild Goat Grass. Random
hybridisations between the Cultivated Emmer and the Goat Grass
produced some early forms of hard shelled Spelt.
Another similar hybridisation occurred later but with a
mutation that changed the ears from having the grain enclosed
within a hard shell to an ear that would release the grain more
The hunter-gatherers would naturally have selected this easier
threshing form to collect so that, assisted by this human
selection, it slowly evolved into free-threshing Bread Wheat.
Over time, Emmer Wheat also mutated and evolved to create Durum
Wheat, now used for making a wide range of pasta products such as
macaroni, spaghetti and lasagna.