Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

Martin K. Jones

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pp. ix-2

It has sometimes been argued that the three-age system of stone, bronze, and iron misrepresents ordinary lives in the past. Much of prehistory, and indeed early history, might better be designated “the age of wood.” Trees, herbs, and a wide variety of plant tissues have dominated both the...

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Introduction

Manon Savard, Marco Madella, and Carla Lancelotti

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pp. 3-6

Archaeobotany is not a new discipline, and it has come a long way since daunting lists of plant taxa were simply a final chapter attached to archaeological reports. These chapters lacked any (or had very little) interpretative approach in respect to the social, economical, and environmental...

I. Methodologies in Archaeobotany

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1. Sample-Size Estimation and Interassemblage Quantification in Archaeobotany

Gyoung-Ah Lee

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pp. 9-25

One of the most common questions in archaeobotany is how to attain quantitative compatibility of plant remains regardless of different sample sizes. Statistical consideration of sampling size itself, however, has been rarely discussed, except for a few publications (e.g., Van der Veen and...

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2. Regional Exchanges in Southeastern Arabia during the Late Pre-Islamic Period: Phytolith Analysis of Ceramic Thin Sections from ed-Dur (UAE)

Luc Vrydaghs, Paul De Paepe, Katrien Rutten, and Ernie Haerinck

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pp. 26-46

The archaeology of the Arabian Gulf documents exchanges of goods going back to prehistory. Pottery of the Ubeid period (5500–4000 BC) has been found at several places along the coast as far as the northern emirates. Later, during the Umm an-Nar and Wadi Suq periods, contacts...

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3. Examining Agriculture and Climate Change in Antiquity: Practical and Theoretical Considerations

Alexia Smith

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pp. 47-70

Over the past few decades, as more data have been gathered on global warming, environmental and agricultural scientists have become increasingly concerned with the impact that climate change will have on different societies’ abilities to produce food. Numerous simulation models...

II. Case Studies in Archaeobotany and Vegetation History

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4. Swahili Urban Food Production: Archaeobotanical Evidence from Pemba Island, Tanzania

Sarah C. Walshaw

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pp. 73-99

Along all pathways to urbanism, food production patterns shift. Communities become more densely settled along different trajectories, but it remains a universal truth that a settlement cannot grow beyond the number of people it can feed (Boserup 1965). Archaeologists have long...

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5. Plant Food Subsistence in Context: An Example from Epipaleolithic Southwest Anatolia

Danièle Martinoli

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pp. 100-119

The results from the archaeobotanical investigations of two Epipaleolithic cave sites, Öküzini and Karain B, in southwest Anatolia (Martinoli 2002, 2009; Martinoli and Jacomet 2004) offer the opportunity to explore the extent to which models of optimal foraging can explain aspects...

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6. Vegetation Proxy Data and Climate Reconstruction: Examples from West Asia

Naomi F. Miller

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pp. 120-134

“Climate” may be defined as a thirty-year average of the weather. Its influence on culture and culture change is important, but difficult to assess. In West Asia, climate change has most recently been implicated in both agricultural origins (Hillman et al. 2001; Moore and Hillman 1992) and...

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7. Significance of Prehistoric Weed Floras for the Reconstruction of Relations between Environment and Crop Husbandry Practices in the Near East

Simone Riehl

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pp. 135-152

One of the greatest challenges in the consideration of ancient plant remains from archaeological sites is the assessment of their meaning for economy and ecology. It was often argued that carbonized wild plant floras from cultural layers in archaeological sites are not suited for environmental...

III. Social Archaeobotany

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8. Historical Aspects of Early Plant Cultivation in the Uplands of Eastern North America

Kristen J. Gremillion

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pp. 155-173

For much of the twentieth century, discussions of agricultural origins in North America stuck to basic historical issues (Gremillion 1993b): when did corn and other so-called tropical cultigens bring to the region the potential for the development of advanced societies with monumental...

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9. Routine Activities, Tertiary Refuse, and Labor Organization: Social Inferences from Everyday Archaeobotany

Dorian Q Fuller, Chris Stevens, and Meriel McClatchie

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pp. 174-217

Two sets of forces have recurrently structured human history in the long term. On the one hand are the constraints imposed by environment and climate: biotic productivity, water availability, and the predictability of annual cycles. On the other are the constraints of social history, those...

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10. Of Crops and Food: A Social Perspective on Rice in the Indus Civilization

Marco Madella

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pp. 218-236

Both the cultural ecology and agriculture of the Indus Civilization have attracted significant attention (for an overview, see Fuller and Madella 2002; Madella and Fuller 2006). However, there has not been much effort to explore the role of plants and animals as food in Indus society (see, ...

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11. Anthracological Research on the Brazilian Coast: Paleoenvironment and Plant Exploitation of Sambaqui Moundbuilders

Rita Scheel-Ybert and Maria Dulce Gaspar

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pp. 237-262

Archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological studies are still relatively rare in Brazil. They have only recently assumed the role of independent archaeological disciplines, rather than auxiliary techniques for archaeology (in the case of archaeobotany, seldom employed). Archaeologists with a...

IV. Genetics in Archaeobotany

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12. Rice of Asian Origin

Yo-Ichiro Sato

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pp. 265-276

Asian common rice has been supporting more than two billion people all over the world. It is certainly an important crop with a long history of cultivation, yet until recently there has been little agreement about its origin and evolution. In the last decade, molecular genetic analyses have...

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13. A Review of the Research on the Origin of Six-Row Barley

Ken-ichi Tanno

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pp. 277-291

Barley is one of the earliest cereals in the world, along with einkorn and emmer wheats. Its origin is thought to be in western Asia and dates back to the tenth millennium uncalibrated BP. Barley has been continuously cultivated for 10,000 years and ranks as the fourth cereal produced in...

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14. Maize Cob Phytoliths as Indicators of Genetics and Environmental Conditions

Linda Scott Cummings

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pp. 292-300

Maize (Zea mays L.) cobs carry within them signatures of both their genetics and the environmental conditions under which they grew. Since cobs represent part of the reproductive structure of maize, their cells can be expected to be modified when humans select for certain characteristics to...

Editors and Contributors

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pp. 301-304

Index

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pp. 305-316