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Paleoethnobotanical Study of Ancient Food Crops and the Environmental Context in North-East Africa, 6000 BC-AD 200/300


Series: British Archaeological Reports (BAR) International Series Volume: 2706

By: Alemseged Beldados(Author), Laurence Smith(Editor), Brian Stewart(Editor), Stephanie Wynne-Jone(Editor)

90 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables

BAR Publishing

Paperback | Mar 2015 | #223534 | ISBN-13: 9781407313573
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $38/€33 approx

About this book

Archaeobotanical investigation was conducted on a total of thirty two thousand (n = 32,000) pot fragments, baked clay and fired clay collected from different sites belonging to five Cultural Groups in Eastern Sudan. The Cultural Groups include Amm Adam, Butana, Gash, Jebel Mokram, and Hagiz. Soil samples (6 kilos) were also analyzed from various excavation spots at Mahal Teglinos, a major site that rendered data on Butana, Gash, Jebel Mokram and Hagiz Groups. The objective of the study was to reconstruct ancient food systems of the pre-historic inhabitants of a region of Northeast Africa and its environmental milieu. The result of the study demonstrated the subsistence bases of the inhabitants from ca. 6000 B.C. to 200/300 A.D. Crops like the small seeded millets (Setaria sp., Eleusine sp., Paspalum sp., Echinochloa sp., Pennisetum sp.), Sorghum verticilliflorum, Sorghum bicolor bicolor, Hordeum sp., Triticum monococcum/dicoccum, and seeds and fruit stones (Vigna unguiculata, Grewia bicolor Juss., Ziziphus sp. (mainly Ziziphus spina christi) and Celtis integrifolia) were cultivated for consumption during this period. The study has also shed new light on the domestication history of Sorghum bicolor. The wild Sorghum, Sorghum bicolor verticilliflorum and its cultivated variety, Sorghum bicolor were simultaneously exploited by the Jebel Mokram Group people between 2000 B.C. and 1000 B.C. One of the oldest domesticated morphotype of Sorghum bicolor, i.e. an intermediary phase between the wild progenitor and its domesticated variety was revealed by the same investigation. Morphological change that has occurred while the species was evolving from wild to cultivated is measured using a Leica Qwin software.


Chapter I: Introduction
Chapter II: An Approach to the Prehistoric setting: Ethno-archaeology in Northwest Ethiopia and Northeast Sudan
Chapter III: The Study areas: the Gash Delta Cultural Groups
Chapter IV: Archaeobotanical Study of the Eastern Sudan Collections
Chapter V: Phyto-geography, Character, Morphology and History of the identified Plants
Chapter VI: Grains and fruit stones from K1, Mahal Teglinos, Kassala, and their wider Implications
Chapter VII: Survey and Test Excavation at Kassala, Northeastern Sudan
Chapter VIII: Botanical data from Soil samples, Pot fragments and Fired clays: Analysis of Collections from Previous Field Seasons, 1980-1995
Chapter IX: Reconstructing Subsistence and the environmental Context: a synthesis of the data


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