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The spectacular botanical preservation and long occupation of Qasr Ibrim, Egypt make this site archaeobotanically matchless. 600 samples have been collected over 20 years covering a timespan of c. 1000 BC - AD 1800. The project has particularly focussed on the period AD 100-400 during which several new summer crops including sorghum, cotton, lablab and sesame first appear. These new crops are thought to be associated with the introduction of new irrigation technology, specifically a device known as the saqia, an ox-driven water wheel from which descends a conveyor belt to which pots are attached. It has never before been possible to examine this crucial change archaeologically and this project has allowed the investigation of when and how this great change happened. This has major implications for the history of agriculture in Africa and the Indian Ocean.
Scope This database compiles, from published sources, the sample records of archaeobotanical (plant) remains from archaeological sites located in southwest Asia, central Anatolia and Cyprus dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic or earlier. Research The database contributes directly to the following publication, and users are referred to that article for further information on the development and intended use of the database: Wallace, M., Jones, G., Charles, M., Forster, E., Stillman, E., Bonhomme, V., Livarda, A., Osborne, C., Rees, M., Frenck, G., Preece, C. (submitted). Re-analysis of archaeobotanical remains from pre- and early agricultural sites provides no evidence for a narrowing of the wild plant food spectrum during the origins of agriculture in southwest Asia. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. Funding This database was developed during two projects based at the University of Sheffield, funded by a European Research Council (ERC) grant 'The Evolutionary Origins of Agriculture' (grant no. 269830-EOA, PI Glynis Jones, University of Sheffield) and a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant 'Origins of Agriculture: an Ecological Perspective on Crop Domestication' (grant no. NE/H022716/1, PI Colin Osborne, University of Sheffield). The database builds on an earlier database compiled by Sue Colledge during 'The Origin and Spread of Neolithic Plant Economies in the Near East and Europe' project (AHRB, PIs Stephen Shennan and James Conolly, University College London) and the 'Domestication of Europe' project (NERC, PI Terry Brown, University of Manchester). Citation When using data included in this database the original publication(s) of the data should be cited. Original publications can be identified in the tables '4_Records (samples)' and '5_References'. The authors would be grateful if this database is cited in addition to the original publication(s). Disclaimer This database is a compilation of data as presented by other researchers. Inclusion in this database does not constitute an endorsement of the data or the researchers. The authors of the database do not take responsibility for any adverse outcome due to transcription or other errors introduced in the creation of this database. When using the database the original source of data should be checked to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data included in the database
The Ancient Biomolecules Initiative is a Natural Environment Research Council programme exploring the biomolecular record of past life which is entombed in archaeological and geological deposits. The findings have applications in archaeology, anthropology, forensic science, research into the past climates and oil exploration. This resource consists of a series of leaflets in PDF format which describe the key findings of the Ancient Biomolecules Initiative.