Morales J.,University of the Basque Country |
Morales J.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria |
Mulazzani S.,Aix - Marseille University |
Belhouchet L.,Musee archeologique de Sousse |
And 10 more authors.
Journal of Anthropological Archaeology | Year: 2015
This paper aims to explore the presence of macro-botanical remains and to assess the role of food plants in sites from the Capsian culture (ca. 10,000-7500. BP). Previous research on the Capsian diet has emphasized the role of land snails and animal resources, but little attention has been paid to the consumption of plants. Here we present the results from the first systematic analysis of charred macro-botanical remains (other than wood charcoal) from a Capsian site. As a case study we have used the data from El Mekta in Tunisia occupied during both the Typical and Upper Capsian periods. Macro-botanical remains were scarce and the evidence of plant use is limited. We identified three taxa including Pinus halepensis, Quercus sp., and Stipa tenacissima. Archaeobotanical and ethnographic evidence suggests that P. halepensis and Quercus sp. could have been used for human consumption while S. tenacissima may have been utilized as a source of fiber for basketry. Decreasing frequencies of Quercus sp. from the Typical to the Upper Capsian levels match well with paleoclimatic proxies pointing to a slow process of desiccation in the region. Capsian populations could have adapted to this environmental change by focusing on the gathering of P. halepensis. We propose that both acorns and pine nuts could have played an important role in the Capsian diet, providing a highly nutritious food source which could also be stored. Archaeobotanical data is limited and definitive conclusions are still at an early stage but we encourage the application of systematic and complete sampling at other Capsian sites in order to test this hypothesis. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Pena-Chocarro L.,Escuela Espanola de Historia y Arqueologia en Rome CSIC |
Pena-Chocarro L.,Institute Historia Cchs Csic |
Jorda G.P.,Institute Historia Cchs Csic |
Mateos J.M.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria |
And 2 more authors.
Environmental Archaeology | Year: 2015
This paper presents ethnographic, historic and archaeological data from the western Mediterranean in order to explore the variability of storage methods and the various strategies that may have existed in the past in this region. The paper includes ethnographic information on traditional storage methods collected in farming communities in northern Morocco (Rif area). We record the use of plant fibres such as canes (Arundo donax), dwarf palm (Chamaerops humilis), esparto grass (Stipa tenacissima) and dis (Ampelodesmos mauritanica) to make containers. Recipients made of cow dung and unfired clay, as well as underground silos, have been also used in this region to store food. In addition, we explore historical and ethnohistorical data on the use of large storage structures, including the study of communal granaries, a particular type of granary located at inaccessible places, such as cliff faces or mountain tops, or within fortified buildings, from which harvests can be easily protected and defended. We also examine the archaeological evidence of storage strategies in the Iberian Peninsula during prehistoric times. The paper informs of the large variety of systems and materials used, the functioning of storage structures, and more generally, provides a framework for reflecting on the enormous diversity of solutions that could have existed in the past and that may have left little or none archeological traces. © Association for Environmental Archaeology 2015.
Lopez-Merino L.,Brunel University |
Cortizas A.M.,University of Santiago de Compostela |
Lopez-Saez J.A.,Institute Historia CCHS CSIC
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2011
Wetlands are exceptional ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity and play a key role in the hydrological and carbon cycles. Knowledge of their long-term ecology is essential for a proper understanding of these valuable ecosystems. We present the application of multi-proxy analyses to a 115 cm-thick core from La Molina mire (Alto de la Espina) located in NW Iberia, with a chronology spanning since ∼500 BC. The mire is located in an area intensively mined for gold during the Roman period, and close to a water-canalization system used for mining operations at that time. Our aim was to get insights into the development of the wetland by combining palynological records of hydro-hygrophytes, non-pollen palynomorphs and geochemical analyses, supported by 14C datings and multivariate statistics. The results indicate a complex pattern of ecological succession. During the local Iron Age the wetland was minerotrophic. Since ∼20 AD it was subjected to dramatic hydrological changes due to a rise of the water-table, fluctuating between the presence of open water and phases of drawdown. Finally, by ∼745 AD, the wetland experienced a rapid evolution towards ombrotrophic conditions. High grazing pressure was detected for the last decades. The significant change occurred during Early Roman Empire seems to have been the consequence of the direct use of the wetland as a water-reservoir of the canalisation system used for gold-mining. Thus, the current nature of the mire may be the result of human impact, although multiple human- and climate-induced causes were potentially linked to the detected shifts. However, the system seems to have been resilient, successfully buffering the changes without substantial alterations of its functioning. Our investigation shows that palaeoecological research is necessary to understand modifications in the structure of wetland ecosystems, their long-term ecology and the role of human-induced changes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Pena-Chocarro L.,Escuela Espanola de Historia y Arqueologia en Rome EEHAR CSIC |
Pena-Chocarro L.,Institute Historia CCHS CSIC |
Jorda G.P.,Institute Historia CCHS CSIC |
Mateos J.M.,Institute Historia CCHS CSIC |
Zapata L.,University of the Basque Country
Annali di Botanica | Year: 2013
This contribution focuses on the preliminary results of the AGRIWESTMED project which focuses on the archaeobotanical analyses of early Neolithic sites in the western Mediterranean region (both in Iberia and in northern Morocco). A large number of sites has been studied producing an interesting dataset of plant remains which places the earliest examples of domesticated plants in the second half of the 6th millennium cal BC. Plant diversity is high as it is shown by the large number of species represented: hulled and naked wheats, barley, peas, fava beans, vetches, lentils and grass peas. To more crops, poppy and flax, are also part of the first agricultural crops of the area. Although agriculture seems to occupy a first place in the production of food, gathering is well represented in the Moroccan sites where a large number of species has been identified.