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A tale of new crops in the oasis of the Arabian Peninsula in the long 1st millenium CE through archaeobotanical approach

Abstract : Agriculture in the Arabian Peninsula becomes established from the early Bronze Age and relies on the cultivation of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) and annual crops, namely barley (Hordeum vulgare subsp. vulgare, H. vulgare subsp. distichon), different wheats – such as emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. dicoccon), bread wheat (T. aestivum subsp. aestivum) – and pulses such as pea (Pisum sativum) and lentil (Lens culinaris). The association of these crops with irrigation systems indicate the presence of oasian agrosystems from that time. Oasis is a resilient and powerful agricultural system allowing the production of multiple crops on a reduced surface thanks to water optimization. It is also a hub connecting local agrarian producers with merchants and travellers through exchanges particularly dynamic during Historical times, which can be highlighted through archaeobotanical data. Therefore, we’ll focus on recent archaeobotanical finds from Antique and Medieval sites showing that ancient oases were ecological and economic niches hosting new crops mostly originated from tropical regions, such as rice (Oryza sativa), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor ssp. bicolor) and cotton (Gossypium sp.). Their introduction should have led to major changes within the spatial, calendar and labour organizations of these pre-existent agricultural systems as well as the transfer and development of new know-hows. This contribution aims to describe some of these new plants and their chronology, to discuss their potential introduction into local agricultural systems and to examine the associated economic, ecological and technical components.
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https://hal-mnhn.archives-ouvertes.fr/mnhn-03779172
Contributor : Charlène Bouchaud Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, September 16, 2022 - 2:45:45 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 17, 2022 - 3:47:49 AM

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  • HAL Id : mnhn-03779172, version 1

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Vladimir Dabrowski, Charlène Bouchaud, Elora Chambraud, Saskia E. Ryan, Margareta Tengberg, et al.. A tale of new crops in the oasis of the Arabian Peninsula in the long 1st millenium CE through archaeobotanical approach. Moving plant workshop, May 2022, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ⟨mnhn-03779172⟩

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