, Volume 17, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 217-224
Date: 02 Oct 2008

Botanical and zoological remains from an early medieval grave at Tsitsamuri, Georgia

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A multidisciplinary analysis of pollen, seeds, mites and molluscs from organic remains in the Tsitsamuri burial (4th–6th century a.d.) provides strong evidence of the season of internment. The presence of Trifolium campestre flowers, abundant Achillea-type pollen, ripe seeds from various early summer flowering plants, remains of Acari mites and immature Helicella derbentina mollusc shells indicate that the burial took place in early summer. Textile fragments were also analysed and indicate that the body was wrapped in a shroud made of flax. The deceased was interred on a bed made of plants gathered from the local environment. The whole complex of botanical and zoological material indicates a cultural landscape in which agriculture, viticulture, horticulture and pasturing were carried out. The climate of that period was probably slightly wetter and warmer than today.

Communicated by A. Bieniek-Mueller.