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

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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.

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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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Correspondence to Eliso Kvavadze.

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Communicated by F. Bittmann

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Kvavadze, E., Gambashidze, I., Mindiashvili, G. et al. The first find in southern Georgia of fossil honey from the Bronze Age, based on palynological data. Veget Hist Archaeobot 16, 399–404 (2007).

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