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The third atlas of the Digital Plant Atlas Project presents illustrations of subfossil remains of plants with economic value. These plant remains mainly derive from excavations in the Old World (Europe, Western Asia and North Africa) that the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (Berlin, Germany) and the Groningen Institute of Archaeology (Netherlands) have conducted or participated in.
Plant material is usually very perishable, but can nevertheless be preserved in archaeological sites if the biological decay of the material is blocked. Many plant remains are discovered during excavations in carbonized form, where despite having been in contact with fire, they have not been completely reduced to ash. Extremely dry climatic conditions, like those in Egypt, can also preserve plant material in a completely dessicated condition. Most of the economically valuable plants illustrated here have been carbonized or desiccated. So this atlas links up very well with the Digital Atlas of Economic Plants.
Like the other atlasses, this atlas is a combination of a book and a website. Book and website include illustrations of seeds and fruits, and other plant parts. The resulting variety in seed and fruit forms is illustrated by examples from different excavations. To support their identification and determination, also pictures of recent plants and relevant plant parts have been included.
To supplement the photographs, the website also includes morphometric measurements of the subfossil seeds and fruits. These measurements can be compared with own measurements of the plant taxa in question.