Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 95–106 | Cite as

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

  • Simone RiehlEmail author
  • Marion Benz
  • Nicholas J. Conard
  • Hojjat Darabi
  • Katleen Deckers
  • Hassan Fazeli Nashli
  • Mohsen Zeidi-Kulehparcheh
Original Article


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.


Near East Turkey Iran PPN sites Origins of agriculture Gathering Cultivation 



We thank the German Research Foundation (DFG) for funding the archaeobotanical analyses from Körtik Tepe, Chogha Golan and East Chia Sabz and the University of Tübingen and the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoecology (HEP) for providing the infrastructure. We also thank the reviewers, above all Mark Nesbitt and George Willcox for valuable comments on the previous version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simone Riehl
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marion Benz
    • 2
  • Nicholas J. Conard
    • 3
  • Hojjat Darabi
    • 4
  • Katleen Deckers
    • 5
  • Hassan Fazeli Nashli
    • 4
  • Mohsen Zeidi-Kulehparcheh
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut für Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie and Senckenberg Center of Human Evolution and PalaeoecologyUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Vorderasiatische ArchäologieUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  3. 3.Institut für ältere Urgeschichte and Senckenberg Center of Human Evolution and PalaeoecologyUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  4. 4.Institute of ArchaeologyUniversity of TehranTeheranIran
  5. 5.Institut für Naturwissenschaftliche ArchäologieUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany

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