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When I was in Southern Iraq in the 1970s, I collected charred woods and seed plant remains from the ancient city of Anshan, today’s Malyan. Although charcoal was plentiful, there were not many compared with other sites in the Near East. But as with those other sites, the seeds I did find included a high proportion of wild and weedy types. Yet Malyan was the capital of an ancient agricultural civilization, where wheat and barley had been cultivated for thousands of years. Why were there so many seeds of wild, nonfood plants? Even the cultigens were hard to explain.
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Miller, N. F. (2002). Food, Fodder, or Fuel?: Harvesting the Secrets of Ancient Seeds. Expedition, 44 (3), 5-6. Retrieved from http://repository.upenn.edu/penn_museum_papers/39
Date Posted: 10 November 2016