Lentil: Origins and Development
Basic Species Information
Lentil is the common English name of the cultivated legume, Lens culinaris Medik. The genus, Lens, is in the plant family Fabaceae, in the subfamily Papilionoindeae, and in the tribe Vicieae. Lentil ranks fifth in the world’s production of seed legumes, after soybean (Glycine max L.), pea (Pisum sativum), chickpea (Cicer arietinum), and cow pea (Vigna unguiculata). It is grown worldwide and the largest producing country is Canada, followed by India, Turkey, and the United States (http:/faostat.fao.org). The global success of this crop is due largely to the high protein content of its seeds (25 %) and therefore its use as a common meat substitute (Zohary 1995). In addition to being a companion to a starch-rich diet of cereal-based agriculture, legumes are a valuable resource in restoring nitrogen to the soil as they are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen and replenish soil fertility (Zohary et al. 2012).
Lens culinaris was domesticated in S
- Boivin, N. & D.Q. Fuller. 2009. Shell middens, ships and seeds: exploring coastal subsistence, maritime trade and the dispersal of domesticates in and around the ancient Arabian Peninsula. Journal of World Prehistory 22: 113-80.
- Cubero, J.L. 1981. Origin, taxonomy and domestication, in C. Webb & G. Hawtin (ed.) Lentils: 15-38. London: Commonweath Agricultural Bureaux.
- Erskine, W., A. Sarkar & M. Ashraf. 2011. Reconstructing an ancient bottleneck of the movement of the Lentil (Lens culinaris ssp. culinaris) into South Asia: a working synthesis. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 58: 373-81.
- Fuller, D.Q & E.L. Harvey. 2006. The archaeobotany of Indian pulses: identification, processing and evidence for cultivation. Environmental Archaeology 11(2): 219-46.
- Fuller, D.Q., G. Willcox & R.G. Allaby. 2011. Cultivation and domestication had multiple origins: arguments against the core area hypothesis for the origins of agriculture in the Near East. World Archaeology 43(4): 628-52.
- -2012. Early agricultural pathways: moving outside the ‘core area’ hypothesis’ in Southwest Asia. Journal of Experimental Botany 63: 617-33.
- Kislev, M.E., D. Nadel & I. Carmi. 1992. Epipalaeolithic (19,000 BP) cereal and fruit diet at Ohalo II, Sea of Galilee, Israel. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 73: 161-166.
- van Zeist, W. 1982. Archaeobotanical studies in the Levant 1. Neolithic sites in the Damascus basin: Aswad, Ghoraifé, Ramad. Palaeohistoria 24: 165-256.
- Zohary, D. 1995. Lentil: Lens culinaris, in J. Smartt & N.W. Simmonds (ed.) Evolution of crop plants, 2nd edn. Harlow: Longman Scietific & Technical.
- Zohary, D., M. Hopf & E. Wiess. 2012. Domestication of plants in the Old World, 4th edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Lentil: Origins and Development
- Reference Work Title
- Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology
- pp 4487-4490
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- Springer New York
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- Springer Science+Business Media New York
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