BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Ancient fig clue to first farming(About) Ancient figs found in an archaeological site in the Jordan Valley may represent one of the earliest forms of agriculture, scientists report. The carbonised fruits date between 11,200 and 11,400 years old. After examining the figs, they determined that it was a self-pollinating, or parthenocarpic, variety, like the kind we eat today. In nature, parthenocarpic fig trees appear now and again by a chance genetic mutation. But because they do not produce seeds they cannot reproduce alone - they require a shoot to be removed and replanted.