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Paléoenvironnements et économie végétale en milieu aride – recherches archéobotaniques dans la région du Golfe arabo-persique et dans le Makran pakistanais (4e mill. av. notre ère – 1er mill. de notre ère)

Abstract : The shores of the Persian Gulf and the Pakistani Makran are among the hottest and most arid regions in the world. In spite of these climatic conditions, which can be characterized as extreme, human occupations are present there at least from the middle of the Holocene. This work constitutes a first synthesis on a fundamental aspect of these ancient societies: the relationship between Man and the plant world. Vegetable remains (charcoal, charred seeds and fruits, imprints on raw bricks) from nine archaeological sites, located in the Gulf countries (Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman) and in the Pakistani Makran, are identified and interpreted. The occupations studied range from the beginning of the 4th millennium BC to the 1st millennium AD. The simultaneous application of two complementary disciplines, anthracology (the study of charcoal) and carpology (the study of seeds and fruits), makes it possible to address both paleoecological and paleoethnobotanical issues concerning the plant environment, resource exploitation, cultivated plants, human and animal nutrition and agricultural systems. Based on the analysis of charcoal, a reconstruction of the paleoenvironments is proposed: thus, a wider distribution than the current one of certain plant formations is highlighted, particularly with regard to mangroves along the coasts of the Arabian Gulf, pseudo-savanna in the interior of the Oman Peninsula and the formation of riparian zones in the valleys of the Pakistani Makran. In the Persian Gulf region, agriculture was practiced according to an irrigated oasis system in which date palms protect cereal crops (dressed barley, bare wheat) and other low plants (coriander, sesame, alfalfa, cotton). Date palms are the most frequently attested cultivated plants: dates were probably a staple food for the populations of this region. On the other hand, in Pakistani Makran, agriculture is essentially cereal-based during the protohistoric period (4000-2000 BC). Bare barley and wheat dominate the archaeobotanical samples. In addition, there are legumes (lentils) and textile plants (flax). Some changes in the assemblage of cultivated plants take place during the sequence studied: the proportion of clothed barley increases at the expense of naked barley and new plants are introduced (sesame, vine, coriander, pea) at the end of the 3rd millennium. The cultivation of winter plants in Makran requires either water supply through irrigation or a more humid climate than the present one. The gathering of wild fruits such as Cordia sp., Grewia sp. and Nannorrhops ritchieana completes the human diet.
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https://hal-mnhn.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-02993813
Contributor : Margareta Tengberg <>
Submitted on : Saturday, November 7, 2020 - 8:53:44 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, November 8, 2020 - 3:27:46 AM

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  • HAL Id : tel-02993813, version 1

Citation

Margareta Tengberg. Paléoenvironnements et économie végétale en milieu aride – recherches archéobotaniques dans la région du Golfe arabo-persique et dans le Makran pakistanais (4e mill. av. notre ère – 1er mill. de notre ère). Biodiversité et Ecologie. Université Montpellier 2 (Sciences et Techniques), 1998. Français. ⟨tel-02993813⟩

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