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Origins of the cultivation oflathyrus sativus andL. cicera (fabaceae)

Abstract

Most of the early and rich archaeobotanical finds ofLathyrus sect.Cicercula, particularly those of the most ancient periods, came from the Balkan peninsula. It has been found that cultivation ofL. sativus began there in the early Neolithic period, around 6000 b.c.e., as a result of the expansion of Near Eastern agriculture of annuals into the region. This, in turn, encouraged development of a greater variety of legumes by the domestication of an additional native species. Similarly, it is suggested that domestication ofL. cicera in southern France and the Iberian peninsula occurred only after the introduction of agriculture into the area. Cultivation of these two closely related species in adjacent regions led to the raising of a mixed crop in many ancient fields. Lathyrus sativus may perhaps be the first crop domesticated in Europe.

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Kislev, M.E. Origins of the cultivation oflathyrus sativus andL. cicera (fabaceae). Econ Bot 43, 262–270 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02859868

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Keywords

  • Excavation
  • Economic Botany
  • Iraq
  • Balkan Peninsula
  • Calendar Date