Friday, December 7, 2012

Database: Photos of charred plant remains from early agriculture sites in the Near East

Photos of charred plant remains from early agriculture sites in the Near East
George Willcox
These pages contain photos and drawings of sub-fossil charred plant remains from archaeological sites in the Fertile Crescent (compiled by George Willcox, Sandra Fornite & Linda Herveux in conjunction a European Research Project nºICA3-CT-2002-10022 and Archéorient (UMR 5133) of the CNRS.

The study of the birth of farming and vegetation history in the Near East at the end of the Pleistocene and the beginning of the Holocene relies on accurate identifications of charred plant remains. We present here photos and drawings of charred sub-fossil plant remains from sites including Jerf el Ahmar, Tell Qaramel and Dja'de; (in some cases we include modern equivalents, numbers given after the site names refer to sample numbers). 

Important points concerning the identifications
1) Exact species identification in many cases is not possible due to a) morphological variability, b) species diversity, c) the effect of charring and d) perhaps evolutionary changes. 2) Often the testa is missing from seeds so that 3) identification may rely on the internal seed structure. 4) Hard thick-coated seeds survive preferentially and are over represented compared to fragile seeds. 

We have included a few drawings taken from publications of W. van Zeist and G. Hillman; bibliographical references are given on the appropriate pages. 
Introduction
Adonis
Aegilops grain
Aegilops spikelet base
Alyssum/Lepidium
Amygdalus
Amygdalus
Amygdalus
Androsace maxima
Arnebia
Artriplex
Astragalus type
Astragalus type
Bellevalia
Brassica
Bromus
Bromus
Bulpleurum
Capparis
Centaurea type
cf Bryonia
Chenopodiaceae type
Cicer
Coronilla cretica
culm
Cyperaceae
Cyperaceae
Cypereceae
Dasypyrum villosum
Eremopyron
Erodium
Fabaceae type
Ficus
Fumaria
Galium
Glaucium
Glaucium
Heliotropium
Hordeum spontaneum grain
Ho. spontaneum spikelet base
Ho. murinum spikelet base
Ho. murinum grain
Hyoscyanus
Lolium
Malva
Malva
Medicago radiata
Medicago radiata
Onobrychis
Onobrychis
Ornithogalum
Ornithogalum
Pistacia sp
Pisum
Plantago
Poa
Polygonaceae
Secale grain
Secale grain
Secale spikelet base
Secale spikelet base
Silene
Silene Gypsophila
Stipa
Taeniatherum grain
Taeniatherum spikelet base
Teucrium Ajuga
Thymelaea
Tribulus terrestris
Trigonella astroites
Trigonella astroites
Trit. 1) spikelet base
Trit. 2) spikelet base
Trit. 3) spikelet base
Trit. 4) spikelet base
Trit. 5) spikelet base
Trit. boeot./mono. grain
Trit. boeot./mono. grain
Trit. boeot./mono. grain
Trit. dicoccum/oides grain
Trit. dicoccum/oides grain
Trit./Secale grain
Trit./Secale grain
Trit./Secale grain
Vaccaria
Vaccaria
Valerianella
Valerianella
Verbascum
Vicia ervilia
Vicia faba
Vitex agnus-castae
Vitis sylvestris
Ziziphora

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