Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 551–566 | Cite as

Evidence of ‘new glume wheat’ from the Late Neolithic (Copper Age) of south-eastern Hungary (4th millennium cal. b.c.)

  • Árpád Kenéz
  • Ákos Pető
  • Ferenc Gyulai
Original Article


In 2000, remains of an unknown Triticum species—later named ‘new glume wheat’ (NGW)—were identified in the archaeobotanical material of Neolithic and Bronze Age Greek sites. The presence of NGW was later reported from several other locations across Europe, from the seventh to the first millennium cal. b.c. During the systematic archaeobotanical survey of the multiperiod site of Hódmezővásárhely–Kopáncs I., Olasz-tanya (5310–2936 cal. b.c.) more than 2,000 cereal remains were recovered. During the morphological analyses, ten spikelet forks showed the distinctive traits of NGW, therefore morphometric analyses were conducted on the remains to reinforce the morphological identification. The results suggest that both approaches—morphological and morphometric—should be applied in parallel to securely separate the NGW remains from Triticum turgidum L. ssp. dicoccum (Schrank) Thell. (emmer) and T. monococcum L. ssp. monococcum (einkorn). All NGW glume bases were recovered from Late Copper Age features (3338–3264 cal. b.c.) of the settlement, which represent the Baden culture of the Great Hungarian Plain. Similarly to other Baden culture sites of the Carpathian Basin einkorn and emmer dominated the crop production of the settlement. The ratio of the NGW remains within the cereal assemblage was measured to be 0.48 %, which suggests that NGW did not have the status of a regular crop; still it may have been part of the accompanying weed flora of the cereal fields during the fourth millennium in the south-eastern Great Hungarian Plain landscape.


Baden culture Plant macroremains Cereals Triticum Morphometric analysis 



The authors are grateful to Orsolya Herendi (leader of the excavation, Hungarian National Musuem, National Heritage Protection Centre) who co-operated in the systematic sampling of Hódmezővásárhely–Kopáncs I., Olasz-tanya site and provided descriptions, images and photographs of the features. In addition we would like to acknowledge the support of Attila Gyucha (Hungarian National Musuem, National Heritage Protection Centre) who provided access to the material. The authors are also grateful to Stefanie Jacomet (Institute for Prehistory and Archaeological Science, IPAS, Basel University) for her comments which helped to improve the manuscript. Finally, the authors are thankful to two anonymous reviewers whose comments helped to improve this paper.

Supplementary material

334_2013_405_MOESM1_ESM.xls (34 kb)
ESM 1 List of NGW findings from different prehistoric periods in Europe and SW-Asia. For the geographical position of NGW occurrences see Fig. 1 (XLS 35 kb)
334_2013_405_MOESM2_ESM.doc (64 kb)
ESM 2 Provenance of the NGW finds from the Baden culture features of Hódmezővásárhely–Kopáncs I., Olasz-tanya, including a list of sites in which we found morphological analogies for the spikelet forks recovered at our site (DOC 65 kb)
334_2013_405_MOESM3_ESM.xls (48 kb)
ESM 3 List (raw data) of charred seeds and fruits as well as other identifiable plant parts (XLS 48 kb)
334_2013_405_MOESM4_ESM.xls (36 kb)
ESM 4 The archaeobotanical parameters of the examined features of the Baden culture at Hódmezővásárhely–Kopáncs I., Olasz-tanya and their descriptive statistics. Features (n = 35) are listed according to their numbers; n = absolute values (raw data); P = presence; D = calculated density of the given feature expressed in number of remains [n] per processed soil litre [l]; U = ubiquity (frequency of occurrence) (XLS 36 kb)
334_2013_405_MOESM5_ESM.xls (30 kb)
ESM 5 The archaeobotanical record and parameters of those features of the Baden culture at Hódmezővásárhely–Kopáncs I., Olasz-tanya, which yielded NGW remains. n = absolute values (raw data); D = density of the taxa calculated on the basis of feature’s soil material and expressed in number of remains [n] per processed soil litre [l] (XLS 31 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Applied Research, National Heritage Protection CentreHungarian National MuseumBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental and Landscape ManagementSzent István UniversityGödöllőHungary

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