, Volume 5, Issue 1-2, pp 33-38

Evidence for possible use of plant foods in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic diet from the site of Całowanie in the central part of the Polish Plain

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Abstract

Całowanie site, which supported hunter-gatherer populations from ca. 11 380±95 until 8270±100 B.P., is the major terminal Palaeolithic and early Mesolithic occupation complex of the North European Plain. The archaeological layers are intercalated with biogenic sediments. The remains of plants that probably served as food were recovered from terminal Palaeolithic and early Mesolithic layers. Most of the charred plant remains, apart from wood charcoal, derives from vegetative parenchyma which forms a major part of organs such as root and tuber. Two taxa have been identified on the basis of the anatomy of parenchymatous tissue, namely Sagittaria cf. sagittifolia and Polygonum sp. In addition, several charred seeds and fruits were recovered. This is the first evidence for the probable use of plant foods, other than hazel nuts or water-chestnuts, in the diet of hunter-gatherers in the North European Plain during the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic.