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Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 527–538 | Cite as

The beginnings of fruit tree cultivation in the Iberian Peninsula: plant remains from the city of Huelva (southern Spain)

  • Guillem Pérez-Jordà
  • Leonor Peña-Chocarro
  • Marcos García Fernández
  • Juan Carlos Vera Rodríguez
Original Article

Abstract

The combination of an archaeobotanical analysis from two different sites in the city of Huelva (Spain) and the identification of vine fields in the same area suggests that different fruit tree species (grapevine, olive, almond and pomegranate) and vegetables such as melon were introduced into the Iberian peninsula in the transition from the 9th to the 8th century cal bc. These dates represent the earliest chronology for arboriculture within the Iberian Peninsula. The material has been preserved by waterlogging allowing the preservation of a wide variety of species which indicate the development of fruit tree cultivation. The archaeological context provides information on the connections between this innovation and the Phoenician communities that established in the region in search of metal resources. Fruit tree cultivation, and particularly wine production, had a great impact on the local agriculture which was traditionally based on the production of annual crops. The new crops soon became an essential agricultural element of the communities that lived in the south and east of the Iberian Peninsula. From the 8th century cal bc onwards, agricultural production would be mostly market oriented.

Keywords

Arboriculture Vineyard Plant remains Iron Age Iberian Peninsula 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This paper is an output of the project FRUITFUL: La introducción y el desarrollo de la arboricultura en la Península Ibérica (HAR2015-64953-P) funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad within the Programa Estatal de Fomento de la Investigación Científica y Técnica de Excelencia, Subprograma Estatal de Generación del Conocimiento. GPJ work has been carried out within the postdoctoral contract FPDI-2013-16034 and IJCI-2015-25082 funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GI ArqueobiologíaInstituto de Historia CCHS-CSICMadridSpain
  2. 2.HuelvaSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Historia, Geografía y Antropología, Facultad de HumanidadesUniversidad de HuelvaHuelvaSpain

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