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Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 105–111 | Cite as

Contents of a storage pit from late Bronze Age Stillfried, Austria: another record of the "new" glume wheat

  • Marianne Kohler-Schneider
Original Article

Abstract

Since Jones et al. (2000) drew attention to a "new" type of glume wheat from Neolithic and Bronze Age sites in northern Greece, several finds of this morphologically distinct tetraploid wheat form have been made across central and southeastern Europe. Charred remains of this wheat, dating from 819–1031 cal b.c., have also been discovered in a storage pit at late Bronze Age Stillfried, eastern Austria. As both chaff and grains were found, it was not only possible to match the diagnostic features of the spikelet bases to the "new" form, but also to examine the grains, which are strikingly long, slender and flat. A dorsal ridge is absent and there is no hump above the embryo. The embryo angle is relatively low and compression lines are much more distinct. Within the Stillfried store "new" glume wheat grains were also easily separable from two-grained einkorn and spelt grains. The morphology of the grains is not inconsistent with the suggestion that the "new" type glume wheat might correspond to modern Triticum timopheevi. In Stillfried "new" glume wheat was grown as a winter crop, and it seems to have been cultivated as a maslin (mixed crop) together with T. monococcum (einkorn).

Keywords

Archaeobotany Triticum dicoccum Triticum timopheevi Morphology Identification 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Glynis Jones was the first to recognize the enigmatic chaff remains in the Stillfried material and has supported my further investigations on this subject with many helpful comments and suggestions. Stefanie Jacomet has kindly provided access to her ample reference collection and has encouraged me throughout my work on Stillfried. Angela Schlumbaum has integrated the "new" glume wheat samples in her ambitious research project on ancient DNA. By propagating numerous rare glume wheat varieties on his organic farm in Upper Austria, Erhard Zimmerhackl has kindly provided me with valuable reference material.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für BotanikUniversität für BodenkulturViennaAustria

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