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Title

The origins of agriculture in North-West Africa: Macro-botanical remains from Epipalaeolithic and Early Neolithic levels of Ifri Oudadane (Morocco)

AuthorsMorales Mateos, Jacob ; Pérez Jordá, Guillem ; Peña-Chocarro, Leonor ; Zapata, Lydia; Ruiz Alonso, Mónica ; López Sáez, José Antonio ; Linstädter, J.
KeywordsBasketry
Wild plant gathering
Archaeobotany
Morocco
Epipalaeolithic
Early Neolithic
Origin of agriculture
Issue DateJun-2013
PublisherElsevier
CitationJournal of Archaeological Science 40(6): 2659-2669 (2013)
AbstractThis research aims to shed light on the early stages of agricultural development in Northern Africa through the analysis of the rich macro-botanical assemblages obtained from Ifri Oudadane, an Epipalaeolithic-Early Neolithic site from North-East Morocco. Results indicate the presence of domesticated plants, cereals (Hordeum vulgare, Triticum monococcum/. dicoccum, Triticum durum and Triticum aestivum/. durum) and pulses (Lens culinaris and Pisum sativum) in the Early Neolithic. One lentil has been dated to 7611 ± 37 cal BP representing the oldest direct date of a domesticated plant seed in Morocco and, by extension, in North Africa. Similarities in both radiocarbon dates and crop assemblages from Early Neolithic sites in Northern Morocco and the Iberian Peninsula suggest a simultaneous East to West maritime spread of agriculture along the shores of the Western Mediterranean. Wild plants were abundantly collected in both the Epipalaeolithic and the Early Neolithic periods pointing to the important role of these resources during the two periods. In addition to fruits and seeds that could have been consumed by both humans and domesticated animals, fragments of esparto grass (Stipa tenacissima) rhizomes have been identified. This is a western Mediterranean native plant that may have been used as a source of fibres for basketry. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/93634
DOI10.1016/j.jas.2013.01.026
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.01.026
issn: 0305-4403
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