Original Article

Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 95-106

Plant use in three Pre-Pottery Neolithic sites of the northern and eastern Fertile Crescent: a preliminary report

  • Simone RiehlAffiliated withInstitut für Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie and Senckenberg Center of Human Evolution and Palaeoecology, University of Tübingen Email author 
  • , Marion BenzAffiliated withInstitut für Vorderasiatische Archäologie, University of Freiburg
  • , Nicholas J. ConardAffiliated withInstitut für ältere Urgeschichte and Senckenberg Center of Human Evolution and Palaeoecology, University of Tübingen
  • , Hojjat DarabiAffiliated withInstitute of Archaeology, University of Tehran
  • , Katleen DeckersAffiliated withInstitut für Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie, University of Tübingen
  • , Hassan Fazeli NashliAffiliated withInstitute of Archaeology, University of Tehran
  • , Mohsen Zeidi-KulehparchehAffiliated withInstitut für ältere Urgeschichte and Senckenberg Center of Human Evolution and Palaeoecology, University of Tübingen

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Abstract

The beginnings of agriculture throughout the Fertile Crescent are still not completely understood, particularly at the eastern end of the Fertile Crescent in the area of modern Iran. Archaeobotanical samples from Epipalaeolithic/PPNA Körtik Tepe in southeastern Turkey and from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic sites of Chogha Golan and East Chia Sabz in south western Iran were studied in order to define the status of cultivation at these sites. Preliminary results show the presence of abundant wild progenitor species of crops at the Iranian sites before 10600 cal. b.p., and very few wild progenitor species at Körtik Tepe dated to 11700–11250 cal. b.p. The Iranian sites also indicate size increase of wild barley grain across a sequence of 400 years through either cultivation or changing moisture conditions.

Keywords

Near East Turkey Iran PPN sites Origins of agriculture Gathering Cultivation