Archaeobotany and Domestication
15.8K views | +12 today
Follow
 
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
onto Archaeobotany and Domestication
Scoop.it!

The archaeobotanical significance of immature millet grains: an experimental case study of Chinese millet crop processing

The archaeobotanical significance of immature millet grains: an experimental case study of Chinese millet crop processing | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it

Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 2012. We present evidence from ethnography and experimental processing of foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.) in China that spikelets containing incompletely filled (or immature) grains constitute a significant portion of typical millet harvests and are removed along with other by-products after threshing and winnowing. This study provides a baseline for the identification of immature foxtail grains in archaeobotanical assemblages. Immature millet grains are a frequent component of archaeobotanical assemblages in Neolithic and Bronze Age China, and criteria for their recognition are presented based on our modern experimental result and illustrated with archaeobotanical examples from Shandong and Henan. It is seed morphology rather than size that plays a determinative role in the identification of foxtail millet. It is suggested that those grains with a narrow egg-shaped embryo, which is about 5/6 of the whole grain, and having a round shape can be classed as foxtail millet even though they are small, flat and squashed. While different grades of immaturity in millet grains might be defined, the interpretative potential of these appears to be negligible as all immature grains are concentrated in winnowing waste. This study confirms the suggestion that the ratio of immature to mature millet grains can be employed in archaeobotany in considering whether or not early stage crop processing (threshing and winnowing) contributed to the formation of particular archaeological millet assemblages.

more...
No comment yet.
Archaeobotany and Domestication
Crop origins evidence from archaeology and botany
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Climate induced human demographic and cultural change in northern Europe during the mid-Holocene

Climate induced human demographic and cultural change in northern Europe during the mid-Holocene | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it

The transition from hunter-gatherer-fisher groups to agrarian societies is arguably the most significant change in human prehistory. In the European plain there is evidence for fully developed agrarian societies by 7,500 cal. yr BP, yet a well-established agrarian society does not appear in the north until 6,000 cal. yr BP for unknown reasons. Here we show a sudden increase in summer temperature at 6,000 cal. yr BP in northern Europe using a well-dated, high resolution record of sea surface temperature (SST) from the Baltic Sea. This temperature rise resulted in hypoxic conditions across the entire Baltic sea as revealed by multiple sedimentary records and supported by marine ecosystem modeling. Comparison with summed probability distributions of radiocarbon dates from archaeological sites indicate that this temperature rise coincided with both the introduction of farming, and a dramatic population increase. The evidence supports the hypothesis that the boundary of farming rapidly extended north at 6,000 cal. yr BP because terrestrial conditions in a previously marginal region improved

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Dorian Q Fuller from Plant Sciences
Scoop.it!

Rice so nice it was domesticated thrice

Rice so nice it was domesticated thrice | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Amazonian variety apparently died off after European colonization

Via Neelima Sinha, Loïc Lepiniec, Saclay Plant Sciences
more...
Back to the Roots 's curator insight, October 17, 5:37 AM
Really interesting! Three independent domestication events on the same staple, amazing...
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Evidence for Sorghum Domestication in Fourth Millennium BC Eastern Sudan: Spikelet Morphology from Ceramic Impressions of the Butana Group: Current Anthropology: Vol 58, No 5

Evidence for Sorghum Domestication in Fourth Millennium BC Eastern Sudan: Spikelet Morphology from Ceramic Impressions of the Butana Group: Current Anthropology: Vol 58, No 5 | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Since the 1970s, the quest for finding the origins of domesticated sorghum in Africa has remained elusive despite the fact that sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench. sensu stricto) is one of the world’s most important cereals. Recognized as originating from wild populations in Africa (Sorghum arundinaceum (Desv.) Stapf), however, the date and cultural context of its domestication has been controversial, with many scholars inferring an early Holocene origin in parallel with better-known cereal domestications. This paper presents firm evidence that the process of domesticating sorghum was present in the far eastern Sahel in the southern Atbai at an archaeological site associated with the Butana Group. Ceramic sherds recovered from excavations undertaken by the Southern Methodist University Butana Project during the 1980s from the largest Butana Group site, KG23, near Kassala, eastern Sudan, were analyzed, and examination of the plant impressions in the pottery revealed diagnostic chaff in which both domesticated and wild sorghum types were identified, thus providing archaeobotanical evidence for the beginnings of cultivation and emergence of domesticated characteristics within sorghum during the fourth millennium BC in eastern Sudan.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Agricultural innovation and resilience in a long-lived early farming community: the 1,500-year sequence at Neolithic to early Chalcolithic Çatalhöyük, central Anatolia | Anatolian Studies | Cambrid...

Agricultural innovation and resilience in a long-lived early farming community: the 1,500-year sequence at Neolithic to early Chalcolithic Çatalhöyük, central Anatolia | Anatolian Studies | Cambrid... | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Agricultural innovation and resilience in a long-lived early farming community: the 1,500-year sequence at Neolithic to early Chalcolithic Çatalhöyük, central Anatolia - Volume 67 - Amy Bogaard, Dragana Filipović, Andrew Fairbairn, Laura Green, Elizabeth Stroud, Dorian Fuller, Michael Charles
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:
An updated synthesis on 20 years of archaeobotanical sampling and research at Catalhoyuk, a site remarkably large for the Neolithic and long-lasting, and thus suggesting a highly effective and sustainable agricultural system. Nevertheless, there are some key shifts in the choice of staple cereals, pulses and the extent of use of wild plant foods.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Seed coat thinning during horsegram ( Macrotyloma uniflorum ) domestication documented through synchrotron tomography of archaeological seeds | Scientific Reports

Seed coat thinning during horsegram ( Macrotyloma uniflorum ) domestication documented through synchrotron tomography of archaeological seeds | Scientific Reports | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Reduction of seed dormancy mechanisms, allowing for rapid germination after planting, is a recurrent trait in domesticated plants, and can often be linked to changes in seed coat structure, in particular thinning. We report evidence for seed coat thinning between 2,000 BC and 1,200 BC, in southern Indian archaeological horsegram (Macrotyloma uniflorum), which it has been possible to document with high precision and non-destructively, through high resolution x-ray computed tomography using a synchrotron. We find that this trait underwent stepped change, from thick to semi-thin to thin seed coats, and that the rate of change was gradual. This is the first time that the rate of evolution of seed coat thinning in a legume crop has been directly documented from archaeological remains, and it contradicts previous predictions that legume domestication occurred through selection of pre-adapted low dormancy phenotypes from the wild.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

The origins and early dispersal of horsegram (Macrotyloma uniflorum), a major crop of ancient India

The origins and early dispersal of horsegram (Macrotyloma uniflorum), a major crop of ancient India | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it

Horsegram has been an important crop since the beginning of agriculture in many parts of South Asia. Despite horsegram’s beneficial properties as a hardy, multi-functional crop, it is still regarded as a food of the poor, particularly in southern India. Mistakenly regarded as a minor crop, largely due to entrenched biases against this under-utilised crop, horsegram has received far less research than other pulses of higher status. The present study provides an updated analysis of evidence for horsegram’s origins, based on archaeological evidence, historical linguistics, and herbarium collections of probable wild populations. Our survey of herbarium specimens provides an updated map of the probable range of the wild progenitor. A large database of modern reference material provides an updated baseline for distinguishing wild and domesticated seeds, while an extensive dataset of archaeological seed measurements provides evidence for regional trends towards larger seed size, indicating domestication. Separate trends towards domestication are identified for north-western India around 4000 BP, and for the Indian Peninsula around 3500 BP, suggesting at least two separate domestications. This synthesis provides a new baseline for further germplasm sampling, especially of wild populations, and further archaeobotanical data collection.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Tea: A Coffee Drinker's Guide, Food Programme - BBC Radio 4

Tea: A Coffee Drinker's Guide, Food Programme - BBC Radio 4 | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it

A radio program on tea: including a discussion of the archaeobotany.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Subsistence mosaics, forager-farmer interactions, and the transition to food production in eastern Africa

Subsistence mosaics, forager-farmer interactions, and the transition to food production in eastern Africa | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
The spread of agriculture across sub-Saharan Africa has long been attributed to the large-scale migration of Bantu-speaking groups out of their west Central African homeland from about 4000 years ago. These groups are seen as having expanded rapidly across the sub-continent, carrying an ‘Iron Age’ package of farming, metal-working, and pottery, and largely replacing pre-existing hunter-gatherers along the way. While elements of the ‘traditional’ Bantu model have been deconstructed in recent years, one of the main constraints on developing a more nuanced understanding of the local processes involved in the spread of farming has been the lack of detailed archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological sequences, particularly from key regions such as eastern Africa. Situated at a crossroads between continental Africa and the Indian Ocean, eastern Africa was not only a major corridor on one of the proposed Bantu routes to southern Africa, but also the recipient of several migrations of pastoral groups from the north. In addition, eastern Africa saw the introduction of a range of domesticates from India, Southeast Asia, and other areas of the Indian Ocean sphere through long-distance maritime connections. The possibility that some Asian crops, such as the vegecultural ‘tropical trio’ (banana, taro, and yam), arrived before the Bantu expansion has in particular raised many questions about the role of eastern Africa's nonagricultural communities in the adoption and subsequent diffusion of crops across the continent. Drawing on new botanical and faunal evidence from recent excavations at a range of hunter-gatherer and early farming sites on eastern Africa's coast and offshore islands, and with comparison to inland sites, this paper will examine the timing and tempo of the agricultural transition, the nature of forager-farmerpastoralist interactions, and the varying roles that elements of the ‘Bantu package’, pastoralism, and nonAfrican domesticates played in local economies. This paper highlights the complex pathways and transitions that unfolded, as well as how eastern Africa links into a broader global picture of heterogeneous, dynamic, and extended transformations from forager to farmer that challenge our fundamental understanding of pre-modern Holocene societies
more...
8A ArnonP's curator insight, March 13, 11:49 AM
This article is about the spread of argiculture in Africa. The spread of agriculture across sub-Saharan Africa was cause by the large-scale migration of Bantu-speaking groups out of their homeland in west Central Africa about 4,000 years ago, this is called the Bantu expansion. The Bantus explaned rapidly across the sub-continent, carrying packages for farming, metal-working, and potter, and largely replacing pre-exxisting hunter-gatheres along the way. While the elements of the Bantu model have been analyzed in recent years, one of the main problem the limit the developing a better understanding of the spread of farming. Situated at a corssroads between continental Africa and the Indian Ocean, eastern Africa was not only a major corridor on of the proposed Bantu routes to southern Africa, it was also a recipient of several migrations of groups of farmer from the north.
This article help me understand about Africa by telling me about the Bantu expansion that caused a large group of farmers to migrate from West Africa to southern Africa. This also help me understand African was advanced because 4,000 years ago, they had stuff for farming, metal-working, and pottery. I think that this topic is still a mystery because know one exactly know what caused the Bantu to migrate to souther Africa.  
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions

Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
The exhibition of increasingly intensive and complex niche construction behaviors through time is a key feature of human evolution, culminating in the advanced capacity for ecosystem engineering exhibited by Homo sapiens. A crucial outcome of such behaviors has been the dramatic reshaping of the global biosphere, a transformation whose early origins are increasingly apparent from cumulative archaeological and paleoecological datasets. Such data suggest that, by the Late Pleistocene, humans had begun to engage in activities that have led to alterations in the distributions of a vast array of species across most, if not all, taxonomic groups. Changes to biodiversity have included extinctions, extirpations, and shifts in species composition, diversity, and community structure. We outline key examples of these changes, highlighting findings from the study of new datasets, like ancient DNA (aDNA), stable isotopes, and microfossils, as well as the application of new statistical and computational methods to datasets that have accumulated significantly in recent decades. We focus on four major phases that witnessed broad anthropogenic alterations to biodiversity—the Late Pleistocene global human expansion, the Neolithic spread of agriculture, the era of island colonization, and the emergence of early urbanized societies and commercial networks. Archaeological evidence documents millennia of anthropogenic transformations that have created novel ecosystems around the world. This record has implications for ecological and evolutionary research, conservation strategies, and the maintenance of ecosystem services, pointing to a significant need for broader cross-disciplinary engagement between archaeology and the biological and environmental sciences.TA
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:
A synthesis on the role of archaeology in documenting how long-term niche construction by human societies has shaped our world since the Pleistocene, and continues to do so. An anthropocene era did simply start with the invention of the steam engine.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

La desaparición de los paisajes 'vírgenes'

La desaparición de los paisajes 'vírgenes' | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
En diálogo con W Fin de Semana, Dorian Fuller, arqueólogo especializado en botánica, dijo que esto se debe a al actividad humana.
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:
A radio program on the long-term transformations of landscapes, such as the Amazon, through human action. Mostly in Spanish, but including an interview in English with Dorian Fuller
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

BananasThe Spread of a Tropical Forest Fruit as an Agricultural Staple - Oxford Handbooks

BananasThe Spread of a Tropical Forest Fruit as an Agricultural Staple - Oxford Handbooks | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
The banana (Musa) is one of the world’s most important crops and the most valuable fruit in the global market. In the search for varieties that are more pest- and disease-resistant plant breeders are increasingly looking to the wild progenitors,—as understanding its evolution is key to genetic improvement. The banana was also an important economic crop in prehistory although it is difficult to track its history of domestication and evolution due to preservation issues, the lack of reliable species identification criteria and limited archaeological evidence. Just two archaeobotanical studies of macro-remains and phytoliths, in New Guinea and Cameroon, have provided reliable identifications and interpretations to help our understanding of the origins and evolution of the banana. But to track the spread and growing importance of this plant in the diet, across the tropics and through time, we need to combine information drawn from botany, genetics, linguistics and archaeology.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Dorian Q Fuller from Rice origins and cultural history
Scoop.it!

Barnyard grasses were processed with rice around 10000 years ago

Barnyard grasses were processed with rice around 10000 years ago | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Rice (Oryza sativa) is regarded as the only grass that was selected for cultivation and eventual domestication in the Yangtze basin of China. Although both macro-fossils and micro-fossils of rice have been recovered from the Early Neolithic site of Shangshan, dating to more than 10,000 years before present (BP), we report evidence of phytolith and starch microfossils taken from stone tools, both for grinding and cutting, and cultural layers, that indicating barnyard grass (Echinochloa spp.) was
more...
Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, November 9, 2015 8:32 PM

Evidence for wild millet grass gathering and processing alongside rice in the millennia before clear evidence for the domestication process.

Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Ancient Oats Discovery Shows Cavemen Loved Carbs | The Plate

Ancient Oats Discovery Shows Cavemen Loved Carbs | The Plate | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Maybe the Paleo Diet should include a nice warm bowl of oatmeal. Strict followers of the fashionable “caveman” regimen shun starchy foods, sticking to breakfasts such as cold halibut with fruit and…
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Holocene fluctuations in human population demonstrate repeated links to food production and climate

Holocene fluctuations in human population demonstrate repeated links to food production and climate | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it

We consider the long-term relationship between human demography, food production, and Holocene climate via an archaeological radiocarbon date series of unprecedented sampling density and detail. There is striking consistency in the inferred human population dynamics across different regions of Britain and Ireland during the middle and later Holocene. Major cross-regional population downturns in population coincide with episodes of more abrupt change in North Atlantic climate and witness societal responses in food procurement as visible in directly dated plants and animals, often with moves toward hardier cereals, increased pastoralism, and/or gathered resources. For the Neolithic, this evidence questions existing models of wholly endogenous demographic boom–bust. For the wider Holocene, it demonstrates that climate-related disruptions have been quasi-periodic drivers of societal and subsistence change.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

The spread of agriculture in eastern Asia| Archaeological bases for hypothetical farmer/language dispersals   »  Brill Online

The spread of agriculture in eastern Asia| Archaeological bases for hypothetical farmer/language dispersals   »  Brill Online | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Millets and rice were important for the demographic history of China. This review draws on current archaeobotanical evidence for rice and millets across China, Korea, eastern Russia, Taiwan, Mainland southeast Asia, and Japan, taking a critical approach to dating evidence, evidence for cultivation, and morphological domestication. There is no evidence to suggest that millets and rice were domesticated simultaneously within a single region. Instead, 5 regions of north China are candidates for independent early cultivation of millets that led to domestication, and 3 regions of the Yangtze basin are candidates for separate rice domestication trajectories. The integration of rice and millet into a single agricultural system took place ca. 4000 BC, and after this the spread of agricultural systems and population growth are in evidence. The most striking evidence for agricultural dispersal and population growth took place between 3000 and 2500 BC, which has implications for major language dispersals.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Geographic mosaics and changing rates of cereal domestication

Geographic mosaics and changing rates of cereal domestication | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Domestication is the process by which plants or animals evolved to fit a human-managed environment, and it is marked by innovations in plant morphology and anatomy that are in turn correlated with new human behaviours and technologies for harvesting, storage and field preparation. Archaeobotanical evidence has revealed that domestication was a protracted process taking thousands of plant generations. Within this protracted process there were changes in the selection pressures for domestication traits as well as variation across a geographic mosaic of wild and cultivated populations. Quantitative data allow us to estimate the changing selection coefficients for the evolution of non-shattering (domestic-type seed dispersal) in Asian rice ( Oryza sativa L.), barley ( Hordeum vulgare L.), emmer wheat ( Triticum dicoccon (Shrank) Schübl.) and einkorn wheat ( Triticum monococcum L.). These data indicate that selection coefficients tended to be low, but also that there were inflection points at which selection increased considerably. For rice, selection coefficients of the order of 0.001 prior to 5500 BC shifted to greater than 0.003 between 5000 and 4500 BC, before falling again as the domestication process ended 4000–3500 BC. In barley and the two wheats selection was strongest between 8500 and 7500 BC. The slow start of domestication may indicate that initial selection began in the Pleistocene glacial era.

This article is part of the themed issue ‘Process and pattern in innovations from cells to societies’.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Human Dispersal and Species Movement edited by Nicole Boivin

Human Dispersal and Species Movement edited by Nicole Boivin | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it

Human Dispersal and Species Movement - edited by Nicole Boivin


This book is the result of an experiment in bringing together scholars from a range of different fields, providing them with a congenial setting for discussions in the form of the former residence of the “Sun King”, Louis XIV, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, just outside Paris, and ensuring a healthy supply of fine French wine. This experiment was kindly conducted by the eminent Fyssen Foundation from 4 to 7 October 2013. We are grateful for their support both for the conference and its organisation, and for the production of this book. The Fyssen Conference was entitled “From Colonisation to Globalisation: Species Movements in Human History”. Like this book, its focus was on the myriad ways in which humans have shaped the movement of other species – and, as a result, ecosystems – throughout their evolutionary history from the Pliocene to the present day. We are very pleased that both the conference and the resultant book managed to attract a range of top scholars from diverse fields, including archaeology, biological anthropology, history, epidemiology, ecology, geography, and molecular genetics. The conference featured stimulating dialogue and debate, much of which has worked its way into this finished volume.

[from the Preface]

Dorian Q Fuller's insight:
This book includes several chapters on the dispersal of crops, livestock and agricultural systems, in addition to many of early humans, diseases, etc.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Dorian Q Fuller from Rice Blast
Scoop.it!

Caught in the jump

Caught in the jump | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Microbial pathogens of plants typically cause disease on a limited number of host species. In nature, pathogens rarely become pathogenic to a new host. The underlying mechanisms of such host jumps are poorly understood but are thought to be linked to the capacity of the pathogen to undermine immunity of the former nonhost species (1). On page 80 of this issue, Inoue et al. (2) report a host jump mechanism of a notorious pathogenic fungus, Pyricularia oryzae, which causes blast disease in cereals.

The immune system of plants consists of two branches. First, surface-resident pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) detect microbial epitopes that are often conserved among many microbial taxa. Second, intracellular nucleotide-binding and leucinerich repeat proteins (NLRs) detect the actions of polymorphic pathogen-delivered and virulence-promoting proteins, called effectors. Recognized effectors are denoted avirulence genes (AVRs). Pathogen effectors often work by subverting signaling initiated by PRRs, facilitating host colonization and disease. The effector arsenal varies between strains of a pathogen species and is a major determinant for adaptation to specific hosts.

Via Francis Martin, Elsa Ballini
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:
One of the poorly understood strands of the origins and spread of agriculture,is the origins of crop diseases, which must have be facilitated by the spread to new environments and the diversification of crop packages.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

ESurfD - SHORT COMMUNICATION: Massive Erosion in Monsoonal Central India Linked to Late Holocene Landcover Degradation

ESurfD - SHORT COMMUNICATION: Massive Erosion in Monsoonal Central India Linked to Late Holocene Landcover Degradation | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Abstract. Soil erosion plays a crucial role in transferring sediment and carbon from land to sea, yet little is known about the rhythm and rates of soil erosion prior to the most recent few centuries. Here we reconstruct a Holocene erosional history from central India, as integrated by the Godavari River in a sediment core from the Bay of Bengal. We quantify terrigenous fluxes, fingerprint sources for the lithogenic fraction and assess the age of the exported terrigenous carbon. Taken together, our data show that the monsoon decline in the late Holocene, later exacerbated by the Neolithic adoption and Iron Age extensification of agriculture on the Deccan Plateau, significantly increased soil erosion and the age of exported organic carbon. Despite a constantly elevated sea level since the middle Holocene, this erosion acceleration led to rapid continental margin growth. We conclude that in monsoon conditions, aridity boosts rather than supresses sediment and carbon export acting as a veritable monsoon erosional pump modulated by landcover conditions.
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:
Data from the Godavari river delta indicates an increase in erosion (downcutting into older upstream sediments) from the mid-Holocene due to drier climatic conditions. A second phase of even more erosion over the past 2000 years is less clearly tied to climate and suggests the impact of anthropogenic factors (agricultural intensification) 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Hunter-gatherer specialization in the late Neolithic of southern Vietnam – The case of Rach Nui

Hunter-gatherer specialization in the late Neolithic of southern Vietnam – The case of Rach Nui | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Rach Nui is a late Neolithic settlement of hunter-gatherers in southern Vietnam. However, the site also has a series of mortared floors corresponding to a sedentary lifestyle, where the inhabitants continued to live in the same area and repaired or replaced their floors over a period of 150 years. The inhabitants relied on a mixed economy that included domesticated and gathered plants, as well as hunted and managed animals. Although, there is evidence for the consumption of domesticated rice and foxtail millet, the inhabitants were mainly hunter-gatherers who relied on their surrounding mangrove and swamp forest habitats for most of their food requirements. From the archaeobotanical work done, it appears that the domesticated cereals, rice and foxtail millet, found at the site were imported. On the other hand, sedge nutlets and parenchyma were identified in high frequencies and were probably locally sourced, suggesting that foraging and/or vegeculture played a major role in the economy of Rach Nui
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Ancient crops provide first archaeological signature of the westward Austronesian expansion

Ancient crops provide first archaeological signature of the westward Austronesian expansion | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
The prehistoric settlement of Madagascar by people from distant Southeast Asia has long captured both scholarly and public imagination, but on the ground evidence for this colonization has eluded archaeologists for decades. Our study provides the first, to our knowledge, archaeological evidence for an early Southeast Asian presence in Madagascar and reveals that this settlement extended to the Comoros. Our findings point to a complex Malagasy settlement history and open new research avenues for linguists, geneticists, and archaeologists to further study the timing and process of this population movement. They also provide insight into early processes of Indian Ocean biological exchange and in particular, Madagascar’s floral introductions, which account for one-tenth of its current vascular plant species diversity.
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:
Share your insight
more...
Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, July 12, 2016 1:13 PM
This study documents that arrival of Asian rice in SE Africa and Madagascar from the 8th century AD
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Taming Nature, The Forum - BBC World Service

Taming Nature, The Forum - BBC World Service | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Living at the Edge: Life in Extreme Environments
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:
a World Service discussion on the creation of landscapes, or how nature and culture work together-- for artists, gardeners, and over the long-term for past societies. This very much relates to seeing the origins and development of agriculture as part of a long-term anthropocene process.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Dorian Q Fuller from Rice origins and cultural history
Scoop.it!

Diversification and Cultural Construction of a Crop -The case of glutinous rice

Diversification and Cultural Construction of a Crop -The case of glutinous rice | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Rice (Oryza) is one of the world’s most important and productive staple foods, with highly diverse uses and varieties. We use archaeobotany, culture, history, and ethnobotany to trace the history of the development of sticky (or glutinous) forms. True sticky rice is the result of a genetic mutation that causes a loss of amylose starch but higher amylopectin content. These mutations are unknown in wild populations but have become important amongst cultivars in East and Southeast Asia (unlike other regions). In the same region, other cereals have also evolved parallel mutations that confer stickiness when cooked. This points to a strong role for cultural history and food preparation traditions in the genetic selection and breeding of Asian cereal varieties. The importance of sticky rice in ritual foods and alcoholic beverages in East and Southeast Asia also suggests the entanglement of crop varieties and culturally inherited food traditions and ritual symbolism.
more...
Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, June 15, 2016 6:07 AM
A review of the cultural importance of sticky rices throughout East and Southeast Asia with a model of their history that takes into account genetic evidence, archaeology, ancient history and the parallel evolution of other glutinous cereals like millets.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Contesting the presence of wheat in the British Isles 8,000 years ago by assessing ancient DNA authenticity from low-coverage data

Contesting the presence of wheat in the British Isles 8,000 years ago by assessing ancient DNA authenticity from low-coverage data | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Contamination with exogenous DNA is a constant hazard to ancient DNA studies, since their validity greatly depend on the ancient origin of the retrieved sequences. Since contamination occurs sporadically, it is fundamental to show positive evidence for ...
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

This study models the expected decay patterns in 8000 year old wheat DNA and compares it that that reported from off the British coast earlier this year (http://archaeobotanist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/mesolithic-cereal-trade-in-europe.html). Turns out the sedimentary aDNA doesn't look to Mesolithic after all. Oops.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Dorian Q Fuller
Scoop.it!

Alternative strategies to agriculture: the evidence for climatic shocks and cereal declines during the British Neolithic and Bronze Age (a reply to Bishop)

Alternative strategies to agriculture: the evidence for climatic shocks and cereal declines during the British Neolithic and Bronze Age (a reply to Bishop) | Archaeobotany and Domestication | Scoop.it
Our suggestion that agriculture was temporarily abandoned for several centuries throughout much of mainland Britain after 3600 BC has provoked criticism, notably the claim by Bishop (2015) that we have missed continuity in Scotland. We demonstrate that firm evidence for widespread agriculture within the later Neolithic is still unproven. We trace the disappearance of cereals and the associated population collapse to a probable climatic shift that impacted the abundance of rainfall and lowered temperatures, thus affecting the reliability of cereals. Divergent strategies and patterns are identified on the Scottish Islands versus the mainland, which has more in common with England, Wales and Ireland. We argue that climate shocks disrupt existing subsistence patterns, to which varied responses are represented by divergent island and mainland patterns, both in the Late Neolithic and during the Early and Middle Bronze Age. Favourable climates encouraged population growth and subsistence innovation, such as at the start of the Neolithic and in the Beaker period.
 
Dorian Q Fuller's insight:

An updated consideration of direct dates on British cereals, in reponse to debate offered by R. Bishop. When broken down by region the evidence is even more compelling that climatic changes impacted the persistence of cereal cultivation, but these impacts and subsistence strategies difference by region, with the Scottish islands notably distinct.

more...
No comment yet.