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Exploitation of wild plants by the early Neolithic hunter–gatherers of the Western Desert, Egypt: Nabta Playa as a case-study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Krystyna Wasylikowa
Affiliation:
W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lubicz 46, 31-512 Kraków, Poland
Józef Mitka
Affiliation:
Botanical Garden, Institute of Botany, Jagiellonian University, Kopernika 47, 31-501 Kraków, Poland
Fred Wendorf
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX 75275, USA
Romuald Schild
Affiliation:
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Al. Solidarności 104, 00-140 Warszawa, Poland

Abstract

The role of plants in the subsistence economy of pre-agricultural societies of the eastern Sahara is poorly known because vegetal remains, except for wood charcoal, are seldom found in archaeological sites. Site E-75-6 at Nabta Playa, with rich assemblages of charred seeds and fruits, is exceptional. Around 8000 b.p. the inhabitants of this site collected a wide spectrum of wild food plants. Wild sorghum was of special interest and its occasional cultivation cannot be excluded.

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Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. 1997

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References

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Exploitation of wild plants by the early Neolithic hunter–gatherers of the Western Desert, Egypt: Nabta Playa as a case-study
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