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Dorian Q Fuller

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DQ's Archaeobotanical Resources

Environmental Archaeology teaching & research

The following publications authored by Dorian are made available by the author For the personal use by academic colleagues, students and other researchers. These should be cited on the basis of their original publication details

The following list is arranged thematically with some brief annotations on what the articles are about;
Themes: South Asia (inclduing general syntheses, South India, other regions [incl. the Ganges], Harappans,
crop-focused reviews
, Theory in South Asia)
Africa (excluding Nubia)
Archaeobotanical Method & Theory
Archaeobotany and the origins of agriculture in South Asia

General syntheses and subcontinental reviews

Fuller, D. Q 2006. Agricultural Origins and Frontiers in South Asia: A Working Synthesis. Jounal of World Prehistory 20(1): 1-86
[pdf: 1.95 mb] as published numerous minor errors appeared in the first 30 pages, the most importnat errata are collected here: [pdf 31 kb]

Fuller, D. Q. and Emma L. Harvey 2006. The archaeobotany of Indian Pulses: identification, processing and evidence for cultivation. Environmental Archaeology 11(2): 219-246 [pdf: 488kb]
This is a review article on pulses, including discussion of how pulse domestication as a process appears to differ from cereal domestication.

A more holistic understanding of human prehistory in South Asia may ultimately be aided by considering evidence from outside archaeology, such as historical linguistics. In the three articles below, the state of evidence for independent centres of plant domestication in India is reviewed and then linguistics evidence is considered with regards to key archaeobotanical crops and trees from key ecological zones:

Fuller, D. Q. 2007. Non-human genetics, agricultural origins and historical linguistics in South Asia. In M. Petraglia and B. Allchin (eds.) The Evolution and History of Human Populations in South Asia. Springer, Netherlands. Pp. 393-443 [pdf: 3.97 MB]

This paper includes a current synthesis on the South Asian Neolithic traditions and integrates this with models on the linguistics prehistory of South Asia, inclduing the evidence for agricultural substrate vocabulary in Indo-Aryan Languages, evidence for trees (reflecting ecological zones) in Proto-Dravidian, and linguistic support of the development of agriculture amongst Early Munda speakers in eastern India. In the paper below some of this same ground in covered but attention drawn to the difficulties of identifying the earliest non-sedentary agriculturalists in South Asia, and the linguistics challenge of semantic shifts in meaning of names for various millets and rice:

Fuller, D. Q. 2006. Silence before sedentism and the advent of cash-crops: A status report on early agriculture in South Asia from plant domestication to the development of political economies (with an excursus on the problem of semantic shift among millets and rice). In Osada, T. (eds.), Proceedings of the Pre-Symposium of RIHN and 7th ESCA Harvard- Kyoto Roundtable, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, pp. 175-213. [Download in 3 parts: pt1 PDF 2.4MB, pt2 PDF 2.78MB, pt3 PDF 3MB]

The paper above builds on an earlier synthesis of archaeobotany and linguistics. The focus is one South India and Dravidian linguistics, but other regions of India are also discussed as is some evidence from other language groups:

Fuller, D. 2003 "An agricultural perspective on Dravidian Historical Linguistics: Archaeological crop packages, livestock and Dravidian crop vocabulary" in P. Bellwood and C. Renfrew (eds.) Assessing the Language/Farming Dispersal Hypothesis. McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research Monographs, Cambridge: Chapter 16. [pdf: 3MB]

For a history of archaeobotanical research in South Asia, with some considerations of its relation to this field elsewhere, and for a compilation of much of the published data through the late 1990s, see this long review chapter:

Fuller, D. Q. 2002 “Fifty Years of Archaeobotanical Studies in India: Laying a Solid Foundation” in S. Settar and R. Korisettar (eds.) Indian Archaeology in Retrospect, Volume III. Archaeology and Interactive Disciplines, Publications of the Indian Council for Historical Research. New Dehli: Manohar: Pp. 247-364 [in 4 parts, pdfs: 2.8MB, 1.8MB, 1.33MB, 2MB]

See also the review on African crops below, under 'crop-based reviews'

South Asian Theory (history of)

Fuller, D. and Nicole Boivin (2002) "Beyond Description and Diffusion: A History of Processual Theory in the Archaeology of South Asia"in S. Settar and R. Korisettar (eds.) Indian Archaeology in Retrospect, Volume IV. History, Theory and Method, Publications ofthe Indian Council for Historical Research. New Dehli: Manohar: Pp. 159-190 [in 3 parts: 2.98MB;..2.91MB;..3.84MB]

Nicole Boivin and D.Q. Fuller (2002), "Looking for Post-Processual Theory in South Asian Archaeology" in S. Settar and R. Korisettar (eds.) Indian Archaeology in Retrospect, Volume IV. History, Theory and Method, Publications of the Indian Council for Historical Research. New Dehli: Manohar: Pp. 191-215 [in 3 parts: 2.81MB;..2.62MB;..2.42MB]

South Indian Neolithic ................Also visit the Bellary Archaeological Project webpages

Much of Dorian’s primary archaeobotanical lab work has focused on identifying archaeological plant remains from prehistoric sites in India, especially south India. This evidence suggests that in South India by the third millennium BC agricultural was based mainly on millet and pulses that had been brought into cultivation somewhere in the region. There is also evidence for adoption of crops from other regions. The basic evidence is here:

Fuller, D., Korisettar, R., Vankatasubbaiah, P.C., Jones, M.K. 2004 Early plant domestications in southern India: some preliminary archaeobotanical results. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 13: 115-129 [pdf file: 692 kB]

This evidence is integrated with settlement pattern and interpreted in terms of annual cycles of cultivation and pastoral mobility here:

Fuller, D. Q., R. Korisettar and P. C. Venkatasubbaiah 2001. Southern Neolithic Cultivation Systems: A Reconsideration based on Archaeobotanical Evidence, South Asian Studies 17: 149-167 [pdf: 2.08MB]

Fuller, D., P. C. Venkatasubbaiah and Ravi Korisettar (2001). The beginnings of agriculture in the Kunderu River Basin: evidence from archaeological survey and archaeobotany, Puratattva 31: 1-8 [pdf: 424kb]

For summary of archaeobotany, settlement pattern and a model of agricultural origins in relation to environmental change, see the paper below. But some of this model have now been revised in light of new evidence for where domestication is likely to have occurred. See discussion the Journal of World Prehistory 20(1), which can be found back up this page.
Fuller, D. Q. 2006. Dung mounds and domesticators: early cultivation and pastoralism in Karnataka. In: Jarrige, C. and Lefèvre, V. (Ed.), South Asian Archaeology 2001, Volume I. Prehistory. Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, Paris, pp. 117-127 [pdf:754kb]

In the following paper the Southern Neolithic evidence is considered in comparison to wider patterns of early agriculture in South Asia, including Gujarat, the Northern Peninsula and the Indus Valley. This article also considers the assumption of formation processes in the interpretation of the archaeobotanical data and suggests contrasts between situations in which crops are adopted for reasons of food stress versus those of 'food choice'.

Fuller, D. Q. 2003 "Indus and Non-Indus Agricultural Traditions: Local Developments and Crop Adoptions on the Indian Peninsula”, in S. Weber and W. Belcher (eds.) Indus Ethnobiology: New Perspectives from the Field. Lexington Books, Lanham, Maryland: pp. 343-396 [pdf: 3.23 MB]

In this paper the processes by which crops spread and agricultural systems evolved is explored through the integration of regional archaeobotanical and ceramic data. It is suggested that by borrowing some concepts of processes of linguistic change we can better understand processes of culinary change:

Fuller, D. Q. 2005. Ceramics, seeds and culinary change in prehistoric India. Antiquity 79 (306): 761-777
..... [pdf: 255 kb]

Boivin, Nicole, Korisettar, R., and Fuller, Dorian Q 2005. Further Research on the Southern Neolithic and the Ashmound Tradition: The Sanganakallu-Kupgal Archaeological Research Project Interim Report. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in History and Archaeology 2(1): 63-92. [pdf in 4 parts, one of which is colour plates: Part A. 1.9MB, Part B 2.8MB, Part C 1.7MB, Part D colour plates 1.7MB]

Above is a summary of findings from 2002-2004 research at the Sanganakallu area sites, including a summary of field research, lithics, pottery, fauna and agricultural evidence. Below is an update on our thinking about the economy and society during the Southern Neolithic, especially developments during the later Neolithic, based in part on fieldwork of the Bellary Archaeology Project:

Boivin, Fuller, Korisettar & Petraglia [in press for 2007] First Farmers in South India: The role of internal processes and external influences in the emergence and transformation of south India’s earliest settled societies, Pragdhara (Journal of the Uttar Pradesh State Department of Archaeology) [special section on 'First Farmers in Global Perspective'], edited by Rakesh Tewari. Text [71kb] and illustrations [1.03mb]

on chronology, and its implicatiosn for understanding ashmounds:

Fuller, D. Q, N. Boivin, R. Korisettar (2007) Dating the Neolithic of South India: new radiometric evidence for key economic, social and ritual transformations. Antiquity 81: 755-778 [pdf: 721kb]

In the following review chapter, Dorian together with his chief collaborators pulled together all that was known about the Neolithic of South India through 1999, providing a history of research. Not included in the download is a lenghty appendix listing all the known Neolithic sites in the 3 main South Indian states.

R. Korisettar, P. C. Venkatasubbaiah, and D.Q. Fuller 2001 “Brahmagiri and Beyond: the Archaeology of the Southern Neolithic” ” in S. Settar and R. Korisettar (eds.) Indian Archaeology in Retrospect, Volume I. Prehistory, Publications of the Indian Council for Historical Research. New Dehli: Manohar: Pp. 151-238 [in 3 pdfs: 1.14MB, 1.8MB, 3.8MB]

Asouti, E., Fuller, D. Q. and Korisettar, R. 2005. in Franke-Vogt, U. and Weisshaar, J., South Asian Archaeology 2003. Proceedings of the European Association for South Asian Archaeology Conference, Bonn, Germany, 7th - 11th July 2003. Aachen: 336-340
[pdf: 635 kb]

On trees, woodland ecology, palaeoecology and wood charcoal Eleni Asouti and Dorian have written a book Trees and Woodland in South India: An Archaeology Perspective, which is now in press with Left Coast Press, and should be out in 2007.

Other Indian regions

Work on early agriculture in various parts of India has greatly increased through the effort of various researchers, including students, in the London archaeobotany lab. Some of the fruits of these labours are available here from the proceedings of the 2003 European conference on South Asian Archaeology

Harvey, E., Fuller, D. Q., Pal, J. N. and Gupta, M. C. 2005. Early agriculture of Neolithic Vindyhas ( North-Central India), in Franke-Vogt, U. and Weisshaar, J., South Asian Archaeology 2003. Proceedings of the European Association for South Asian Archaeology Conference, Bonn, Germany, 7th - 11th July 2003. Aachen: 329-334 [pdf: 491kb]
............ see also
Harvey and Fuller (2005) Investigating crop processing through phytolith analysis: the case of rice and millets, Journal of Archaeological Science 32: 739-752 [pdf file: 548 kB]

Fuller, D. Q (2006) The Ganges on the World Neolithic map: The significance of recent research on agriculture origins in Northern India. Pragdhara (Journal of the Uttar Pradesh State Department of Archaeology) 16: 187-206. [pdf: 6.5 MB]

This article provides critical perspective on current research and research issues relating to the development of rice-based agriculture in the Ganges basin, including challenges posed by evidence from Lahuradewa.

Cooke, M., Fuller, D. Q. and K. Rajan 2005. Early Historic Agriculture in Southern Tamil Nadu: Archaeobotanical Research at Mangudi, Kodumanal and Perur, in Franke-Vogt, U. and Weisshaar, J., South Asian Archaeology 2003. Aachen: 341-350
[pdf: 320 kb]

For some first archaeobotanical results from a flotation program in Orissa, and a discussion of the challenges of the empheral Neolithic of the Orissan uplands, see:

Harvey, E. L., D. Q. Fuller, R. K. Mohanty and Basanta Mohanta (2006) Early Agriculture in Orissa: Some Archaeobotanical Results and Field Observations on the Neolithic. Man and Environment 31(2): 21-32 [pdf: 1.2MB]

The following article examines environmental change and cultural reponse. A range of palaeocliamtic datasets are synthesized and then considered in relation to the emergence of Harappan urbanism in the Indus Valley and subsequent deurbanisation. In addition there is some discussion of likely climatic opportunism in the spread of wheat and barley agriculture towards central India.

Madella, M. and Fuller, D. Q. 2006. Palaeoecology and the Harappan Civilisation of South Asia: a reconsideration, Quaternary Science Reviews 25: 1283-1301[pdf: 985kb]

Fuller, D. Q. and M. Madella 2001. Issues in Harappan Archaeobotany: Retrospect and Prospect" " in S. Settar and R. Korisettar (eds.) Indian Archaeology in Retrospect, Volume II. Protohistory Publications of the Indian Council for Historical Research. New Dehli: Manohar: Pp. 317-390 [pdf 3.5 MB ]

This article reviewed the state of Harappan archaeobotany in 1999-2000. On Harappan archaeobotany, see also the Fuller/Weber debate (below: "Archaeobotanical Method and Theory")

Kumar, P., A. R. Freeman, R. T. Loftus, C. Gaillard, D. Q. Fuller and D. G. Bradley 2003. Admixture analysis of South Asian cattle, Heredity 91: 43–50 [pdf file: 190 kB]
This is mainly genetics work by the others, which shows a cline of varying degrees of genetic mixing between the separate cattle domestications in the Near East and South Asia. In the discussion on the last page, to which Dorian contributed, this is considered in the context of archaeological evidence from cattle bones in the Near East and South Asia, and a wider context plant and animal exchange in prehistory between these two regions.

Crop-based reviews

Fuller, D. Q. (2008) "The spread of textile production and textile crops in India beyond the Harappan zone: an aspect of the emergence of craft specialization and systematic trade" in Linguistics, Archaeology and the Human Past Occasional Paper 3, edited by T. Osada and A. Uesugi. Indus Project, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. Pp. 1-26 (ISBN 978-4-902325-16-4) [pdf: 1.7 MB]

The above paper deals with cotton and flax, reviewing archaeobotany, spindle whorls and historical linguistics from South Asia and beyond.

On the botany and archaeobotany of sesame, a crop of South Asian origin:

Fuller, D. Q. 2003 "Further Evidence on the Prehistory of Sesame" Asian Agri-History 7(2): 127-137 [pdf: 575 KB ]

Now reprinted in Y. Nene (ed.) Glimpses of the Agricultural Heritage of India. Asian Agri-History Foundation, Hyderabad, 2007, pp. 605-613

For a critical assessment of the evidence of African crops in South Asia see the following paper. This also incorporates some of the millet grain identification criteria that Dorian has been developing. This has important implications for the antiquity of agriculture in parts of Africa, although there remains gaps in the available evidence on that continent.

Fuller, D. Q. 2003 " African crops in prehistoric South Asia: a critical review" in K. Neumann, A. Butler and S. Kahlheber (eds.) Food, Fuel and Fields. Progress in Africa Archaeobotany, Africa Praehistorica 15. Colonge: Heinrich-Barth-Institut: Pp. 239-271 [pdf : 2.5MB]

see also Fuller & Harvey (2006) The Archaeobotany of Indian Pulses... [pdf: 488kb]

D. Q. Fuller & Ling Qin (2009) Water management and labour in the origins and spread of Asian rice. World Archaeology 41(1): 88-111 [pdf: 1.59MB]

a forthcoming overview of the world of millets:

S. A. Weber & D. Q. Fuller (in press) Millets and Their Role in Early Agriculture. Based on the paper presented at ‘First Farmers in Global Perspective,’ seminar of Uttar Pradesh State Department of Archaeology, Lucknow, India, 18-20 January 2006. For publication in a special issue of the journal Pragdhara, 2007, ed. Rakesh Tewari. [pdf: 489 kb text&table] [pdf 338 kb figures]

Archaeobotany: method and theoryrice harvest Zhejiang

D. Q. Fuller (2007) Contrasting patterns in crop domestication and domestication rates: recent archaeobotanical insights from the Old World. Annals of Botany. 100(5): 903-924 [PDF-1.05MB]

This article looks at the domestication process, considering the different rates at which aspects of the "domestication syndrome" evolved in different species based on available quantitive archaeobotanical data; findings include some comparisons and contrasts between
wheat, barley, rice, mungbean (and pulses in general), as well as pearl millet. The evidence for a slow fixation of domestication traits, as well as likely mutliple local centres of initial cultivation, has important implications for understanding the patterns of genetic diversity found in modern crop populations, with the implication that apparent phylogenetic patterns reviewed in modern analysis may not be as straightforward to interpret as often assumed, for a discussion of this issue on the basis of simulated computer populations domestication events, see the next paper:

Allaby, R. G., D. Q. Fuller and T. A. Brown (2008). The genetic expectations of a protracted model for the origins of domesticated crops. PNAS 105 (37): 13982-13986 [pdf: 317kb]

this article has been followed by some debate in PNAS on-line edition [pdf: 222 kb]


D. Q. Fuller (2008) Archaeological Science in Field Training. In From Concepts of the Past to Practical Strategies: The Teaching of Archaeological Field Techniques (eds. P. J. Ucko, Ling Qing and Jane Hubert). London: Saffron Press. Pp. 183-205 (from final proofs)[pdf: 499kb]

This article briefly considers archaeological sciences, such as archaeobotany and zooarchaeology, in terms of their history within archaeology, their importance in archaeological field training, and some of the essential issues that should be included in such training.

Wollstonecroft, M., Ellis, P. R., Hillman, G. C. and Fuller, D. Q. (2008) Advances in plant food processing in the Near Eastern Epipalaeolithic and implications for improved edibility and nutrient bioaccessibility: an experimental assessment of Bolboschoenus maritimus (L.) Palla (sea club-rush). Vegetation History and Archaeobotany [pdf: 861 kb] . SEE MORE PUBLICATIONS OF GORDON HILLMAN HERE.

This article highlights to role of processing techniques/technology is making food edible and worthwhile as food sources, through a focused experimental study on a sedge that may have been a common forager food in the Late Pleistocene Near East, but it has wider implications for the role of food processing technology and optimal foraging models.

The following article outlines how phytolith evidence may be used alongside charred remains or indeed instead of them to identify the signatures of crop processing stages, which in turn can provide evidence for how past communities organized agricultural labour. The specific crops considered are rice and hulled millets, although the principles are more widely applicable. The archaeological test case is from Neolithic north India.

E. Harvey and D. Q. Fuller. 2005 Investigating crop processing through phytolith analysis: the case of rice and millets, Journal of Archaeological Science 32: 739-752 [pdf file: 548 kB]

see also discussion in some of the above articles such as Indus and Non-Indus Agricultural Traditions [pdf: 3.23 MB] , Dorian's history of South Asian Archaeobotany [in 4 parts, pdfs: 2.8MB, 1.8MB, 1.33MB, 2MB], or Ceramics, seeds and culinary change in prehistoric India. Antiquity 79 (306): 761-777 [pdf: 255 kb]

Fuller, D. 2001. Harappan seeds and agriculture: some considerations, Antiquity 75: 410-414 [pdf: 1640 kb]

This article is a short response to a previously published article by Steve Weber on Harappan archaeobotany and evidence for change. This PDF also includes Weber's replies to these comments. The major suggestion here is that the change from Mature to Late Harappan periods at both Harappa and Rojdi is reflected in change in how agricultural labour is organized, represented by crop-processing signatures in the plant remains. At both sites there is a shift towards less centralized production suggesting an increasing emphasis on smaller-scale household production. The original Article by Weber on which this discussion is based: [pdf: 1929 kb]

The following paper provides an overview of archaeobotanical taphonomy, including taphonomy and proposes a classification of archaeobotanical evidence in terms of 4 grades of information content, based on sampling, context type and reporting. Examples are drawn from South Asia.

Fuller, Dorian Q & Weber, Steven A. 2005. Formation Processes and Paleoethnobotanical Interpretation in South Asia. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in History and Archaeology 2(1): 93-115. [pdf in 3 parts: A.1.46 MB, B.947kb, C.671kb]

The application of crop-processing models to archaeobotanical evidence provides a powerful paradigm thorugh which to infer aspects of social organisation, in particular the size of agricultural labour groups. This is considered in comparative perspective in the following two forthcoming papers, made available here in manuscript:

Fuller, D. Q., Chris J. Stevens and Meriel McClatchie. in press. Routine Activities, Tertiary Refuse and Labor Organization: Social Inference from Everyday Archaeobotany. In Ancient Plants and People. Contemporary Trends in Archaeobotany. Edited by Marco Madella and Manon Savard. University of Arizona Press, Tucson [pdf: 904kb]

Fuller, D.Q. and Chris J. Stevens. in press. Agriculture and the Development of Complex Societies: An Archaeobotanical Agenda. In Ethnobotanist of Distant Pasts: Essays in Honour of Gordon Hillman. Andrew Fairbairn and Ehud Weiss (eds.). Oxbow Books [pdf: 1070kb]

For an overview of recent developments in Near Eastern archaeobotany which are changing the ways in which archaeologists need to think about and look for the origins of agriculture, see this forthcoming paper:

Fuller, D. Q. (in press) Recent lessons from Near Eastern archaeobotany: wild cereal use, pre-domestication cultivation and tracing multiple origins and dispersals. Based on the paper presented at ‘First Farmers in Global Perspective,’ seminar of Uttar Pradesh State Department of Archaeology, Lucknow, India, 18-20 January 2006 For publication in a special issue of the journal Pragdhara, 2007, ed. Rakesh Tewari [pdf: 1.28 mb]

China (archaeobotany)

For our recent publication in Science (March, 2009) on "The Domestication process and domestication rate in rice in the Lower Yangtze China" follow the link for free full-text access from Dorian's official publication list. For other comments and related material, check the archaeobotanist blog.

Fuller, D. Q, H. Zhang (2007) A preliminary report of the survey archaeobotany of the upper Ying Valley (Henan Province) In School of Archaeology and Museology, Peking University and Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology (eds) Dengfeng wangchenggang yizhi de faxian yu yanjiu (2002-2005) [ Archaeological Discovery and Research at the Wangchenggang Site in Dengfeng (2002-2005)] pp916-958. Zhengzhou: Great Elephant Publisher [in Chinese and English]. Download in 3 parts [p1, p2, p3]

Preliminary results from flotation samples in the Ying valley dating from the Late Yangshao, Longshan and Shang periods, which suggest some shift in agriculture and the organization of crop processing through that correlate with increasing social complexity. NOTE that the Englisg text was unedited and retains a number of typographical errors, for which the author apologizes.

D. Q Fuller, Emma Harvey and Ling Qin (2007) Presumed domestication? Evidence for wild rice cultivation and domestication in the fifth millennium BC of the Lower Yangtze region, Antiquity 81 (312): 316-331 [pdf: 586 kb]

Discussions on the nature of early rice finds in China, continue with debate pieces in antiquity's e-gallery [Vol. 82], see the March 2008 installment here.
and a June 2008 installment here: "Immature rice and its archaeobotanical recognition: a reply to Pan" by Fuller & Qin. (The latter includes line drawings of archaeological grains and spikelet bases from Caoxieshan site, Jiangsu).

for Chinese readers, a more detailed discussion of the Hemudu subsistence (including animals, tools and plants), as well as the case for pre-domestication cultivation can be found in the annual Dongfang Kaogu 2006, a page proof version is available as PDF:
Qin, Ling, D. Q. Fuller & E. Harvey (2006).
[Subsistence of Hemudu Site, and reconsideration of issues in the study of early rice from Lower Yangzte]. Dongfang Kaogu 3: 307-350 [pdf: 1.62 MB]

D. Q. Fuller, Ling Qin and E. Harvey (2008) Evidence for a late onset of agriculture in the Lower Yangtze region and challenges for an archaeobotany of rice. Forthcoming In: A. Sanchez-Mazas, R. Blench, M. Ross, M. Lin & I. Pejros (eds.) Past Human migrations in East Asia: matching archaeology, linguistics and genetics. London: Taylor & Francis. Pp. 40-83.
Download final manuscript version. [pdf: 2.3 MB]

The article above provide a critical reassessment of the data for early rice use in the (Lower) Yangzte, which argues in fact that rice domestication was much later than usually claimed, closer to 4000 BC after a millennium or more of pre-domestication cultivation. We also draw attention to the overlooked significance of acorns at Hemudu and other sites. The longer book chapter also includes some discussion on archaeozoology and the problematic evidence relating to early water buffalos and tillage.
Below is another article that summarizes the evidence for this revised view of the Lower Yangzte Neolithic and situates it in the wider context of Early Agriculture in East Asia:

D. Q. Fuller, Ling Qin and E. Harvey (in press) A Critical Assessment of Early Agriculture in East Asia, with emphasis on Lower Yangzte Rice Domestication. For publication in a special issue of Pradghara (Journal of the Uttar Pradesh State Archaeology Department) 2007 [ed. Rakesh Tewari], relating to First Farmers in Global Perspective,’ seminar of Uttar Pradesh State Department of Archaeology, Lucknow, India, 18-20 January 2006. [pdf: 1.24 MB]

D. Q. Fuller & Y.-I. Sato (2008) Japonica rice carried to, not from, Southeast Asia. Nature Genetics 40: 1264-1265 [pdf 157kb]

D. Q. Fuller & Ling Qin (2009) Water management and labour in the origins and spread of Asian rice. World Archaeology 41(1): 88-111 [pdf: 1.59MB]

Nubia Meroe pyramid, Begrawiyeh South are you interested in a virtual tour of Nubian archaeological sites?

Dorian has worked on material from the Pennsylvania-Yale expedition to Nubia, working through artefacts and records stored at Yale. This paper was the first major public presentation of some these results and how the small cemeteries at Arminna West might provide insights into the big changes involved in the end of the Meroitic kingdom and the emergence of Qustul/Ballana successor state.

Fuller, D. 1999. A Parochial Perspective on the End of Meroe: Changes in Cemetery and Settlement at Arminna West, in D A Welsby (ed). Recent Research on the Kingdom of Kush, Occasional Papers of the British Museum. London: British Museum Press [pdf: 1557 kb]

The following paper looked at how written sources and archaeological sources could be integrated for understanding social processes in Late Meroitic transition in Lower Nubia and at Arminna West.

Fuller, D. Q. 1997. The Confluence of History and Archaeology in Lower Nubia: Scales of Continuity and Change, in Archaeological Review from Cambridge (for 1995), 14(1), 105-128 [pdf: 1.37MB]

This next chapter explores how a Sudanic model for state organisation, rather than an Egyptian model, allows us to better understand the archaeological evidence, including the use of material symbols, in Meroitic Nubia.

Fuller, D. Q. 2003 "Pharaonic or Sudanic? Models for Meroitic Society and Change" in David O'Connor and Andrew Reid (eds.) Ancient Egypt and Africa (Encounters with Ancient Egypt series, edited by Peter Ucko). UCL Press, London: Pp. 169-184 [pdf:9.76MB]

This Arminna book is still coming. . .

For some Meroitic ostraca compared with some from Qasr Ibrim, that display recurrent formula, see

Edwards, D. N. and D. Q. Fuller 2000. Notes on the Meroitic "Epistolary" Tradition: new texts from Arminna West and Qasr Ibrim. Meroitic Newsletter 27: 85-106 [pdf: 1.6mb]

The following article summarizes evidence for subsistence, ceramics and environment in the Wadi Muqaddam during the period of the earliest pottery but prioir to agriculture. This derives from roadline survey in the Bayuda desert in 1997.

Fuller, Dorian and Smith, Laurence 2004. The Prehistory of the Bayuda: New Evidence from the Wadi Muqaddam. In Timothy Kendall (ed.), Nubian Studies 1998. Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of the International Society of Nubian Studies, August 21-26, 1998, Boston, Massachusetts. Department of African-American Studies, Northeastern University, Boston. pp. 265-281 [pdf: 594kb]

Some archaeobotanical data from the First Millennium BC, Dongola reach
Fuller, D. 2004 Early Kushite Agriculture: Archaeobotanical Evidence from Kawa. Sudan & Nubia 8, 70-74 [pdf: 1.13MB]

and from the early Second Millennium AD

Fuller, D. and D. N. Edwards 2001. Medieval Plant Economy in Middle Nubia: Preliminary Archaeobotanical Evidence from Nauri, Sudan and Nubia 5: 97-103 [pdf: 3.6 MB]]

Africa (excluding Nubia)

Fuller, D. 2000. The Botanical Remains, in T Insoll (ed). Urbanism, Archaeology and Trade. Further Observations on the Gao Region (Mali). The 1996 Fieldseason Results. BAR International Series 829, 28-35 [pdf: 4.7mb]

MacDonald, Kevin, Robert Vernet, Dorian Fuller and James Woodhouse 2003. New Light on the Tichitt Tradition: A preliminary report on survey and excavation at Dhar Nema, in Peter Mitchell, Anne Haour and John Hobart (eds.) Researching Africa’s Past. New Contributions from British Archaeologists, Oxford Univerity School of Archaeology Monograph No. 57, Oxford: pp. 73-80 [pdf: 4.45 MB]

Fuller, D. 2005 Crop Cultivation: The Evidence. In Shillington, K (ed.) Encyclopedia of African History, pp. 326-328. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn [pdf: 1.27 MB]

Fuller, D. 2005 Farming: Stone Age Farmers of the Savanna. In Shillington, K (ed.) Encyclopedia of African History, pp. 521-523. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn [link to online sample entry] [pdf: 1.8 MB]

Fuller, D. 2005 Farming: Tropical Forest Zones. In Shillington, K (ed.) Encyclopedia of African History, pp. 523-524. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn [pdf: 1.4 MB]

Murray, M. A., D Q. Fuller and C. Cappeza (2007) Crop production on the Senegal River in the early First Millennium AD: preliminary aechaeobotanical results from Cubalel. In R. T. J. Cappers (ed.) Fields of Change. Progress in African Archaeobotany, Grongingen Archaeological Studies 5.Groningen: Barkhuis Publishing. Pp. 63-70 [pdf: 4.8 MB]

Fuller, D. Q., K. Macdonald & R. Vernet (2007) Early domesticated pearl millet in Dhar Nema (Mauritania): evidence of crop-processing waste as ceramic temper. In R. T. J. Cappers (ed.) Fields of Change. Progress in African Archaeobotany, Grongingen Archaeological Studies 5. Groningen: Barkhuis Publishing. Pp. 71-76 [pdf: 5.5 MB]



A long-running interest in plant macro-systematics, developed while a student at Yale working in the Palaeobotany lab of Leo Hickey, took a particular interest in the magnificent if rather obscure Gunnera family. At last the leaf morphological data and a phylogenetic argument in favour of Saxifragalean affinities can be found here:

Dorian Q Fuller and Leo J. Hickey 2005. Systematics and Leaf Architecture of the Gunneraceae. The Botanical Review 71(3): 295–353 [pdf: 6.6 Mb]

The Gunnera fossils (Late Creataceous) are still to come . . .but check out the Gunnera gallery.



Intensive Short Cours in Seed Archaeobotany

the Gunnera gallery: botany & photos

see also the Flotation photo gallery

the Nubian archaeology virtual tour

The SEALINKS project

Themes Index:
South Asia general syntheses,...South Asian Theory
South India
India other regions
crop-focused reviews
Archaeobotanical Method & Theory

  for fun: the proto-type Ucko action figure
in memoriam


Send mail to d.fuller AT with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 21/4/2009