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Cultivated plant remains of the late Neolithic Michelsberg Culture at Heilbronn-Klingenberg (southwest Germany) - a comparison of different features, find assemblages and preservation conditions relating to the representation of archaeobotanical remains

Hans-Peter Stika
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany
Vol. 5, No. 1/2 (1996), pp. 57-64
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23417522
Page Count: 8
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Cultivated plant remains of the late Neolithic Michelsberg Culture at Heilbronn-Klingenberg (southwest Germany) - a comparison of different features, find assemblages and preservation conditions relating to the representation of archaeobotanical remains
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Abstract

A large area investigation was undertaken of the plant remains from a Michelsberg Culture (late Neolithic) settlement. The charred macroscopic remains and imprints in pieces of daub were expected to show both the spectrum of the cultivated plants there, and also the degree of their cultivation and use. The loess covered hill-top lies in a landscape with favourable climatic and soil conditions and is blocked off by two parallel ditches running in an arc. Ditches and pits filled with different sediments were investigated. The daub, unearthed in several pits, had been deliberately mixed with chaff of the glume wheats einkorn and emmer to temper it when it was originally made. The investigated imprints and charred plant remains give hints of spatial distribution of crop processing activities. To determine the amounts of the crops that were cultivated and used, it is necessary to study the charred remains. The degree of ubiquity (frequency of occurrence) of grains in the pit sediments seems to be the best indicator of the representation of cereals. Four main cereals were found: Triticum monococcum, T. dicoccum, T. aestivum/T. durum and Hordeum vulgare var. nudum. Pisum sativum also was an important cultivated plant, much more than Lens culinaris. The role of Linum usitatissimum and Papaver somniferum is less clear.

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