Plant cultivation has a long and successful history that is tightly linked to environmental and climate change, social development and to cultural traditions and diversity. This is true also for the high latitudes of northern Europe, where cultivation started thousands of years before the earliest written records. The long history of cultivation can be studied by archaeobotany, which is the study of ancient seeds, pollen and other plant remains found on archaeological sites.
This book presents recent advances in North-European archaeobotany. It focuses on plant cultivation and brings together studies from different countries and research environments, both at universities and within contract archaeology.
The studies cover the Nordic countries and adjacent parts of the Baltic countries and Russia, and they span more than 5.000 years of agricultural history, from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages. They highlight and discuss many different aspects of early agriculture, from the first introduction of cultivation, to crop choices, expansions and declines, climatic adaptation, and vegetable gardening.
- Introduction to Archaeobotanical studies of past plant cultivation in northern Europe 1 / Santeri Vanhanen & Per Lagerås
- Barley cultivation in Viking Age Iceland in light of evidence from Lækjargata 10-12, Reykjavík 5 / Dawn Elise Mooney & Lísabet Guðmundsdóttir
- Cereal cultivation in south-western Norway: Boom and bust in the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age 21 / Eli-Christine Soltvedt
- Free-threshing wheat in Danish prehistory 37 / Marianne Høyem Andreasen
- A Bronze Age house at Hestehaven: An early example of storage and cultivation of hulled barley (Hordeum vulgare var. vulgare) in Denmark 53 / Peter Mose Jensen, Livija Ivanovaite & Anja Vegeberg Jensen
- Tracing pioneer agriculture in northern Norway 69 / Christin Eldegard Jensen
- Indications of rye (Secale cereale) cultivation from 7th century south-western Norway 83 / Sara Westling & Christin Eldegard Jensen
- The development of plant use and cultivation in the Sukhona basin, north-west Russian taiga zone 101 / Wiebke Kirleis, Magdalena Wieckowska-Lüth, Henny Piezonka, Nadezhda Nedomolkina, Sebastian Lorenz, Vanessa Elberfeld & Jens Schneeweiss
- Gardening at medieval farmsteads: Archaeobotanical indications of horticulture in Denmark and southern Sweden, AD 1000-1500 119 / Kirstine Krath Helweg
- Roman Iron Age and Migration period plant cultivation at Salo Isokylä, south-western Finland 131 / Santeri Vanhanen
- New cereal grain finds from southern Satakunta, Finland, dated from the Late Bronze Age to the Middle Ages 145 / Terttu Lempiäinen, Maija Helamaa, Heli Lehto, Ulla Moilanen, Markku Oinonen, Sakari Salomaa & Kari Uotila
- From barley to buckwheat: Plants cultivated in the Eastern Baltic region until the 13th-14th century AD 155 / Mindaugas Grikpedis, Giedre Motuzaite Matuzeviciute
- Iron Age emmer and spelt: Where, when and why? A review of archaeobotanical evidence from southern Sweden, c. AD 1-600 171 / Per Lagerås & Mikael Larsson
Per Lagerås is an Associate Professor in agrarian history at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and a Doctor in Quaternary Geology at Lund University. He holds a position at the National Historical Museums in Sweden and his main research interests are vegetation history, cultural landscape development and human-environment interactions.