Crop cultivation in the Talayotic settlement of Son Fornes (Mallorca, Spain): agricultural practices on the western Mediterranean islands in the first millennium BCE

Hans-Peter Stika, Aleta Neugebauer, Cristina Rihuete Herrada, Roberto Risch, Rafael Micó Pérez, Jordi Voltas, Paula Amengual, Lara Gelabert Batllori, Vicenç Lull Santiago

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Resumen

The Balearic Islands were colonised around the transition from the Chalcolithic to the Bronze Age, not earlier than 2300 cal bce and certainly much later than any central or eastern Mediterranean islands. The number of archaeobotanical records is low and consists mainly of cereals and a few pulses. We present here new results of our long-term study of Son Fornés, an archaeological site on Mallorca which was occupied since the beginning of the Iron Age Talayotic period (~ 850 cal bce) and until Roman times (123 bce onwards), in the Balearic Islands. In the Talayotic period of Son Fornés Hordeum vulgare var. vulgare (hulled barley) and Triticum aestivum/durum/turgidum (free-threshing wheat) were the main cereals grown and Vicia faba (broad bean) was the main pulse, while Avena sp. (oats) is considered to have been a weed but was nonetheless consumed and was probably in an early phase of being domesticated. For the subsequent post-Talayotic (ca. 550 − 250 bce), Classic I and Classic II, the Republican Roman occupation period (from 123 bce onwards) the databases are weak, displaying hulled barley as the main crop and broad bean as the main pulse. The archaeobotanical records of Ficus carica (fig), Olea europaea (olive) and Vitis vinifera (grapevine) represent wild or cultivated and domesticated forms. Prunus dulcis (almond) and Pinus pinea (stone pine) were found on Eivissa (Ibiza), pointing to a Phoenician introduction to the islands, while Phoenix dactylifera (date palm) and Castanea sativa (chestnut), found on Menorca, might have been brought in by the Romans. The number of crops being used on the Balearic Islands was limited when compared to sites of similar periods on the European mainland or the central and eastern Mediterranean islands. According to carbon isotope results of Δ13C, hulled barley grew under damper conditions than free-threshing wheat. The high δ15N values indicated that both crops were well-manured with animal dung during the entire occupation period.
Idioma originalInglés
Número de páginas11
PublicaciónVegetation History and Archaeobotany
DOI
EstadoPublicada - 19 sept 2023

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