CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

Research Activities 2017

The work in 2017 within the F3 project has so far included sampling and analysis of charred and/or waterlogged archaeological material from sites in northern Germany, western Slovakia and central Hungary dating variously from the Early Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age. Additional acitivities have included participation in the experimental crop growing at AÖZA, collection of data for the archaeo-ethno-botanical database, production of interim archaeobotanical reports  and intensive communication with other SFB1266 projects in relation the research topics covered by the ‘SFB1266 interlinking groups’.

Fig. 1. Charred millet and barley grains from a large pit in Wismar.

The Late Bronze Age site of Wismar-Wendorf in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern comprised a number of differently sized and shaped pits. One of the larger ones yielded mass deposits of hulled barley grain (almost 30 kg!) and broomcorn millet, along with smaller amounts of emmer and naked barley grain, and seeds of a range of arable weeds.

Fig. 2. This year’s excavation in Vráble.

VrableFig. 3. Flotation in Vrable.

A Linearbandkeramik site of Vráble in central Slovakia, excavated within the C2 project, has produced a modest assemblage of, mostly, cereal remains. On the current evidence, einkorn and emmer seem to have been the most important crops for this settlement. A closer look at the trench-level data suggest differences in the preservation/deposition/use of einkorn and emmer between different areas of the site.

proportions of plant species einkorn and emmerproportions of plant species einkorn and emmerFig. 4. First insight into einkorn and emmer proportions at Vráble.

In the renewed excavations of the Neolithic site of Duvensee (after the previous ones in the 1990s), carried out by the C1 project, samples have been taken from layers of buried turf and they are expected to contain waterlogged plant material. Similar botanical preservation was encountered at the Neolithic sites near Oldenburg (also investigated by C1) where significant amounts of macro-remains of cultivated and wild flora were found in subfossil or charred state.

Working at the experimental area at the AÖZA in Albersdorf.Fig. 5. Working at the experimental area at the AÖZA in Albersdorf.​

As a joint activity of the projects F3 and D1 and colleagues from the Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte in Kiel, a small land area within the open-air museum of Archäologisch-Ökologisches Zentrum in Albersdorf (AÖZA) near Kiel, was turned into an agricultural plot. Several types of crops were manually sown (by placing the seeds in rows), regularly weeded (including botanical determination of the plucked weeds) and successfully harvested: einkorn, emmer, naked barley and flax/linseed.

FlyerKulturpflanzen der Jungsteinzeit. Experimenteller Anbau im des Archäologisch-Ökologischen Zentrum Albersdorf.

At this year's excavation season at the Bronze Age site of Kakucs-Turján in Hungary, the F3 project was involved both in archaeobotanical fieldwork (sampling and flotation) and in the excavation, especially of large (waste) pits. The pits were carefully and thoroughly sampled for macrobotanical remains and phytoliths. The samples will facilitate identification of distinct episodes of deposition of botanical material in these complex features.

Excavating a pit at Kakucs.
Fig. 6. Excavating a pit at Kakucs.

Together with colleagues from the Graduate School ‘Human Development in Landscapes’ and the Institut für Ur- und Fruhgeschichte, the F3 project took part in the Steinzeit Live event at the Arche Warder Animal Park on 8 October. The youngest of the visitors had fun using stones to crack hazelnuts that we roasted on the spot, and learning about different plants that we find in archaeobotanical records.

Roasting and cracking hazelnuts at Arche Warder “Steinzeit Live”.Fig. 7. Roasting and cracking hazelnuts at Arche Warder “Steinzeit Live”.

New Publications