Food plants from late bronze age lagoon sites in Languedoc, southern France: Reconstruction of farming economy and environment

  • Laurent Bouby
  • Frédérie Leroy
  • Laurent Carozza
Article

Abstract

During the late Bronze age, settlements in Languedoc, southern France, were located on the shore of lagoons lining the Mediterranean, while, in the hinterland, settlements were mainly in the form of villages or cave sites. Information on food plants has been restricted, until now, to sites in the hinterland. In this paper, the archaeobotanical results obtained from two lagoon-shore settlements, La Fangade at Sète, and Portal Vielh at Vendres, are reported. The former provides the first waterlogged assemblage for this period in the French Mediterranean while the latter consists of a dry settlement. Emmer and hulled, six row barley are the most common cereals occurring at the two sites. Other cereals are less frequent, although einkorn chaff is common at La Fangade. Flax, and especially opium poppy, are well represented while faba bean is the only pulse of some importance. Many wild fruits were gathered, especially acorns. Comparison with data from the hinterland suggests that the main difference lay in the cultivation of opium poppy and flax in the lagoon sites. However, may be largely an impression, resulting from the differences in manner of preservation at hinterland and lagoon sites. Local production as distinct from importation of crops is considered and the conclusion is drawn that, at least at La Fangade, hulled barley was grown locally. The arable weed flora indicates that sowing took place during both autumn and spring at La Fangade.

Key words

Crop production Food plants Lagoon sites Late Bronze Age Southern France 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurent Bouby
    • 1
  • Frédérie Leroy
    • 2
  • Laurent Carozza
    • 1
  1. 1.UMR 8555 CNRSCentre d'AnthropologieToulouseFrance
  2. 2.MarseilleFrance

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