M.A. Theses: Mairi Capper, 2012


Urban Subsistence in the Bronze and Iron Ages: The Palaeoethnobotany of Tell Tayinat, Turkey

This thesis examines macrobotanical remains recovered from Early Bronze Age and Iron Age (approximately 3300-600 BCE) deposits at Tell Tayinat in southern Turkey. Tell Tayinat was a large, urban centre which was situated in a region with favourable environmental conditions and higher rainfall compared to many other well-studied areas of the Near East.

The most significant crop species present at Tell Tayinat are wheat (emmer and free-threshing), barley, bitter vetch, grape and olive. Non-crop plant remains mainly consist of weedy taxa, likely the byproducts of dung fuel use or grain processing. Chaff remains were generally few, indicating that primary crop processing likely occurred elsewhere. Although the ratio of free-threshing wheat to emmer wheat increased through time, the overall wheat-to-barley ratio indicates that the favourable environment of the Amuq Plain allowed wheat to be grown in higher proportions than at other sites with less annual rainfall.


Keywords:     Archaeobotany; Bronze Age; Iron Age; Near East