Article

Crops and climate in prehistoric Europe

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Abstract

Selected areas of the European and Near Eastern archaeobotanical record are examined in the hope of elucidating the influences of climate, culture, and other factors on prehistoric agriculture. It is concluded that the long‐term effects of climate or environment are usually of little importance in comparison with those of other perturbing influences.

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... After considering the lack of botanical information available for Early Copper Age sites, this thesis will apply a methodology called presence-analysis (Hubbard 1976Hubbard , 1980) to analyze the plant remains at the Vésztõ-Bikeri site. This methodology is appropriate to understand which plant resources were exploited during this time and the differential patterning if these resources across the settlement site. ...
... The remains of domesticated crops and animals are found abundantly throughout the Balkan region and in Hungary preceding the Vinča and Tiszapolgár cultural periods (Greenfield 1986; Whittle 1990). Botanically, these sites exhibit a sequence that parallels the studies conducted in the region (Hubbard 1980). The most ubiquitous crops identified in the Vinča cultures were Triticum dicoccum (emmer) and Triticum monococcum (einkorn) (Borojevic 1997 Defining differential plant distribution in the archaeobotanical record ...
... The accumulation of botanical material at an archaeological site can be related to a number of different activities (Lennstrom Transporting the plants to the settlement or other processing place, threshing (beating, trampling, hand rubbing), raking (of grain, chaff, leftover plant by products), washing, drying, burning, parching, roasting, winnowing, sorting, sieving, grinding, dehusking, braiding, bagging, cutting up, boiling, baking, toasting, preparing a storage location, and placing the material in storage (Hastorf 1988:125). In numerous Late Neolithic and Copper Age sites in Southeastern Europe, seeds, such as Hordeum vulgare (barley) and Triticum dicoccum (emmer), can be found in household settings (Bogaard 2001; Borojevic 1997; Hubbard 1980; McLaren and Hubbard 1990). Seeds can be dropped on the floor or outside of a house structure during the process of cleaning and cooking, and the scattering of seeds is not uncommon during processing (Hastorf 1998; Hillman 1984; Jones 1984). ...
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In past decades, archaeobotanical research has facilitated a better understanding of the impact of cultivated and wild plants in the Great Hungarian Plain. With the introduction of complex flotation systems and improved sampling methodologies, archaeobotanists have been able to produce comprehensive analyses of plant remains, aiding in defining stratigraphy and cultural contexts of archaeological sites. This study, which focuses on macrobotanical remains from the Early Copper Age archaeological site, Vésztõ-Bikeri, will investigate the presence and spatial variability of plant remains of plants at a settlement site. Selected botanical samples were examined using a presence-analysis to evaluate the exploitation and distribution of plant remains at the Vésztõ-Bikeri site. This thesis tests the proposition that differential distribution of plant remains at settlements can aid in understanding the social dynamics of the household unit.
... Reviewing methods of quantitative analysis in paleoethnobotany, Glynis Jones (1991:64) defined a "unit of analysis" as one that "results from a single human activity." Numerous interpretations of diachronic change in plant resource use have been derived from quantitative analyses of macrobotanical samples (Allen 1989;Diehl 1996;Hubbard 1980;Johannessen 1988;Minnis 1978Minnis , 1985Minnis , 1986Pearsall 1983, Whalen 1981 Rocek studied were bell-shaped pits and multifloor stratified room-fill, respectively. ...
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... Pare (2000, Figure 1.3) uses the degree of fill of circles to indicate the ubiquity of bronze in different regions and period. Bray and Pollard (2012) explicitly placed ubiquity analysis as a central tool in their approach to investigate the chemistry of copper artefacts, building upon pioneering work in archaeobotany (Hubbard, 1976;Hubbard, 1980;Popper, 1988;Pearsall, 2000, p. 214). They claimed that an appreciable difference of ubiquity in geographic space may be an indicator of the movement of metal (Bray and Pollard, 2012). ...
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... Thus any quantitative synthesis should be based on presence regardless of abundance : in other words the frequency of a taxon is dependent on its presence in an individual archaeological context. Presence-analysis has been summarized by Hubbard (1976). ...
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This article reviews the available information on the place of origin and time of domestication of the cultivated pea (Pisum sativum), lentil (Lens culinaris), broad bean (Vicia faba), bitter vetch (V. ervilia), and chickpea (Cicer arietinum). On the basis of (i) an examination and evaluation of archeological remains and (ii) an identification of the wild progenitors and delimitation of their geographic distribution, it was concluded that pea and lentil should be regarded as founder crops of Old World Neolithic agriculture. Most probably they were domesticated, in the Near East, simultaneously with wheats and barley (certainly not later than the sixth millennium B.C.). Bitter vetch shows a similar mode of origin. The evidence on the broad bean and the chickpea is much more fragmentary and the wild progenitors of these legumes are yet not satisfactorily identified. But also these two pulses emerge as important food elements in Bronze Age cultures of the Near East and Europe.
Éispèces des plantes cultivées des stations primitives au sud-ouest de l'U
  • Z V Janouchevitch
  • V I Markevitch