Agriculture and Plant Economies in the Eastern Levant
The project aims to comprise all available archaeobotanic data from the eastern Levant (including Syria, Southeast Anatolia, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan) and a time span from the Early Bronze Age (c. 3000 BC) to modern times. Complementary to the initial research, which successfully has tested the methodological approach, the comprehensive analysis of environmental and archaeometric data and references in written sources will contribute in a highly substantial way to the reconstruction of the dynamic processes of urbanization and landscape transformation in this region. This study was implemented at the Freie Universität Berlin (in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Dominik Bonatz) and in the archaeobotanic laboratory of the DAI (German Archaeological Institute) in cooperation with Dr. Reinder Neef during the summer of 2016 and it will continue with the support of both institutions. Coupled with other environmental analyses and regional studies, the macrobotanical remains can allow a reconstruction of the local vegetation at the time of occupation of the site, and the environmental context in which the site is located. The study of the seed and charcoals remains can answer important questions about many aspects of daily life, such as agricultural practices from sowing to harvesting; operating chains; the role of plants in food, medicine and handicrafts; the introduction and evolution of domestic taxa (cereals, vegetables, trees); and storage and food preservation methods. In general, the agriculture in the ancient Near East economy of many population groups in the past.