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 The Fifth International Workshop for African Archaeobotany will be held 2-5 July, 2006
at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. For scheduled papers and absracts select days below.






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Leaving a Lasting Impression: arable economies and cereal impressions in Africa and Europe

Meriel McClatchie and Dorian Q Fuller
University College London

It has often been suggested that the frequency of various cereal types recorded from ceramic vessels represents the relative economic importance of each cereal type A range of processes and behavioral patterns may, however, have affected the ways in which cereals were incorporated into ceramic vessels, and the predominance of certain cereal types at various times is unlikely to be related to their economic importance. A recent collation of archaeobotanical macro-remains and pottery impressions from Bronze Age Ireland highlighted major discrepancies between these two data sets. This suggests instead that both sets of evidence need to be related back to the organization and scheduling of crop-processing activities. In this poster this approach is extended to consider some of the general patterns in ceramic plant impressions in Africa, including the contrasts between earlier and later Late Stone Age and Iron Age impressions from West Africa and the contrasts between Mesolithic and Neolithic impressions in Sudan. This suggests that some of the shifts through time in impressions data tell us more about changes in the organization of potting vis-à-vis plant processing (including collecting, or crop harvesting and processing) than about changes in diet.


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Last modified: 1/06/06