Harvesting method has long been recognized as an important factor in the emergence of domesticated cereal genotypes, but post-harvet processing has received little attention. Tzarfati et al. quantify the effects of spike brittleness and threshability (both major domestication traits) upon threshing time and efficiency in a diverse range of tetraploid wheat genotypes, including emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides) and modern cultivars of durum wheat (T. turgidum ssp. durum). They find that both non-brittleness and increased threshability are significant labour-saving traits that increase the efficiency of post-harvest processing, which could have been an incentive for rapid domestication of the Near Eastern cereals.