Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 543–549 | Cite as

Condiments before Claudius: new plant foods at the Late Iron Age oppidum at Silchester, UK

Original Article

Abstract

Our understanding of the introduction and adoption of new plant foods in Roman Britain is currently limited by a lack of data from a group of Late Iron Age settlements commonly referred to as oppida (large pre-Roman towns). This paper presents the first evidence of several imported plant foods from Late Iron Age Britain in the form of waterlogged plant remains from the oppidum at Silchester. These were recovered from the basal contexts of two wells, dated to the early first century a.d. One olive stone and several seeds of celery, coriander and dill were identified. The results are compared to archaeobotanical data from elsewhere in Britain and northwestern Europe, demonstrating that Silchester is part of the wider phenomenon of the adoption of new flavourings and fruits in Late Iron Age Europe.

Keywords

Condiments Late Iron Age Britain Roman Britain Oppida Silchester 

Supplementary material

334_2013_407_MOESM1_ESM.xls (30 kb)
Data table of waterlogged plant remains. Supplementary material 1 (XLS 30 kb)
334_2013_407_MOESM2_ESM.doc (142 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 141 kb)
334_2013_407_MOESM3_ESM.doc (61 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOC 61 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Archaeology, University of OxfordOxfordUK

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