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Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 399–404 | Cite as

The first find in southern Georgia of fossil honey from the Bronze Age, based on palynological data

  • Eliso Kvavadze
  • Irina Gambashidze
  • Giorgi Mindiashvili
  • Giorgi Gogochuri
Original Article

Abstract

The results of a palynological analysis of the organic content of earthenware pots from the Kodiani burial mound (27th–25th centuries b.c.) are reported. The character of the palynological spectrum differs significantly from that of a buried soil within the same burial mound. In the samples taken from the pots, pollen concentration is very high, pollen grains are perfectly preserved and an abundance of pollen from insect-pollinated plants is recorded. It is well known that these features are peculiar to honey palynospectra. In all three pots the pollen of Rosaceae, a family of plants that produce good honey, is dominant. However, the second, third and fourth most dominant pollen types in all three samples are different. For example, Tilia pollen is the second dominant in only one pot. In the second pot, Apiaceae and Poaceae are predominant, and in the third pot, Poaceae, both wild and cultural, is the second dominant. It is clear that the different pots contained different types of honey. The variety of honey types indicates highly developed bee-keeping in the Early Bronze Age. In the same regions of Georgia, agriculture was also highly developed. Wheat cultivation was very important. According to the palynospectra, the landscape and climate of this period were probably quite different to those of today.

Keywords

Fossil honey Pollen analysis Early kurgan culture Bronze age Biodiversity Caucasus 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the management of the British Petroleum Co. for their financial support. We also thank V.M. Japaridze, Director of the Centre for Archaeological Investigations of the Academy of Sciences of Georgia, N.A. Bregadze, Institute of History of Academy of Sciences of Georgia and Y. Gagoshidze, State Museum of Georgia for their consultations. We express our deep gratitude to M. Rösch, A. Bieniek and S. Connor for their invaluable help in our investigations and in preparation of the present manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eliso Kvavadze
    • 1
  • Irina Gambashidze
    • 2
  • Giorgi Mindiashvili
    • 2
  • Giorgi Gogochuri
    • 2
  1. 1.L. Davitashvili Institute of PalaeobiologyGeorgian Academy of ScienceTbilisi 8Georgia
  2. 2.O. Lordkipanidze Centre for Archaeological Studies of GeorgianAcademy of ScienceTbilisi 2Georgia

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