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Stable carbon isotope evidence for Neolithic and Bronze Age crop water management in the Eastern Mediterranean and Southwest Asia

Wallace, Michael P.; Jones, Glynis; Charles, Michael; Fraser, Rebecca; Heaton, Tim H.E.; Bogaard, Amy. 2015 Stable carbon isotope evidence for Neolithic and Bronze Age crop water management in the Eastern Mediterranean and Southwest Asia. PLOS ONE, 10 (6), e0127085. 10.1371/journal.pone.0127085

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Abstract/Summary

In a large study on early crop water management, stable carbon isotope discrimination was determined for 275 charred grain samples from nine archaeological sites, dating primarily to the Neolithic and Bronze Age, from the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Asia. This has revealed that wheat (Triticumspp.) was regularly grown in wetter conditions than barley (Hordeumsp.), indicating systematic preferential treatment of wheat that may reflect a cultural preference for wheat over barley. Isotopic analysis of pulse crops (Lens culinaris, Pisum sativumand Vicia ervilia) indicates cultivation in highly varied water conditions at some sites, possibly as a result of opportunistic watering practices. The results have also provided evidence for local land-use and changing agricultural practices.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1371/journal.pone.0127085
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date made live: 23 Jun 2015 14:05 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/511115

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