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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Garamantian agriculture: the plant remains from Zinchecra, Fezzan
Author:Veen, Marijke van der
Periodical:Libyan Studies
Geographic term:Libya
agricultural history
edible plants
Abstract:Excavations at Zinchecra, a hill fort settlement of the Garamantes in Fezzan, southern Libya, have recovered a rich assemblage of desiccated and carbonized plant remains. The archaeobotanical analysis of this assemblage has produced a unique insight into the state of agriculture in the Sahara during the first half of the first millennium BC. The crops grown were largely Near Eastern cultigens such as emmer wheat ('Triticum dicoccum'), bread wheat ('Triticum aestivum'), barley ('Hordeum vulgare'), dates ('Phoenix dactylifera'), grapes ('Vitis vinifera') and figs ('Ficus carica'). The diet of cereals and fruits was probably supplemented by some green vegetables such as celery ('Apium graveolens') and purslane ('Portulaca oleracea'). The use of wild plant resources has also been attested. The assemblage is dated by eleven radiocarbon dates to 900-400 cal BC. A well-developed agricultural regime was present, despite the harsh climatic conditions. Bibliogr., sum. also in Arabic.