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Unveiling harvesting in the Neolithic: variability in use-wear polish from cereal reaping through confocal microscopy

AuthorsIbáñez-Estévez, Juan José ; Mazzucco, Niccolò ; Anderson, Patricia C.; Gassin, Bernard
Domestic cereals
Harvesting cereals
Microscoppia Confocal
Issue Date2020
PublisherEuropean Association of Archaeologists
Citation26th EAA Virtual Annual Meeting : (2020)
AbstractWheat, barley and rye were harvested in the wild during the Late Epipaleolithic in the Near East. From 8,500 cal BC first indications of domestication appear in north and south Levant. After that, beside domestic hulled cereals, wild varieties were also exploited during more than one millennium. From 7,500 cal BC naked varieties of domestic cereals started to be exploited in the Near East. Domestic cereals were spread into Europe, Asia and North Africa during the Neolithic expansion, being cultivated in very different ecological contexts. Cereals were harvested in a more or less advanced stage of maturity and more near the ground or the ear, depending, partially, on whether the straw was going to be used or not. All this variability in harvesting conditions resulted in an important variability in cereal reaping polish characteristics. We explore this variability in an ample experimental program of harvesting tools, using texture analysis and confocal microscopy in order to measure it. We conclude that important aspects about the characteristics of harvesting activities in the past can be unveiled using this methodology.
Appears in Collections:(IMF) Comunicaciones congresos
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