New article on EB botanical finds and implications

A new article on the analyses of the archaeobotanical finds from the Early Bronze Age levels at Tell es-Safi/Gath, and their implications for understanding the subsistence patterns and methods, land use, connectivity and other issues. The macro-botanical remains that were examined represent a so far unparalleled extensive sampling of botanical contexts from EB contexts in the Levant, and are based on the collection of enormous amounts of sediments from many contexts. The botanical remains from these sediments were then collected using floatation and “picking,” and the analyzed in the BIU archaeobotanical lab.

The article was spearheaded by Su Frumin, and the full reference is:

Frumin, S., Melamed, Y., Maeir, A. M., Greenfield, H. J., and Weiss, E. 2021. Agricultural subsistence, land use and long-distance mobility within the Early Bronze Age southern Levant: Archaeobotanical evidence from the urban site of Tell eṣ-Ṣâfī/Gath. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 37: 102873

Here’s the abstract:

The ongoing discussion on the nature of the organization of Early Bronze Age settlements and their social structure in an intensely settled part of the southern Levant (independent ‘city-states’ vs ‘neither cities nor states’) calls for data on which to base our understanding of shared economic patterns and regional connections. Here, we report the results of our macrobotanical investigation of the Early Bronze Age III (2,680–2,600 cal BCE) levels at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfī/Gath, a large fortified settlement in central Canaan. A dense residential neighborhood was sampled at high resolution for a multi-faceted analysis of plant use in order to address its economic strategies and regional relationships. The resulting rich and diverse plant assemblage enables reconstruction of the diversity of agriculture, fuel sources, land use practices, mobility, and connectivity. Results of the study provide, for the first time, direct botanical evidence for the structural patterns of an intensive localized agro-pastoral economy and enable comparative analysis of the regional diet. Moreover, the results shed light on rare yet continuous long-distance plant dispersal and human mobility across biogeographical boundaries within the southern Levant.

Check it out!