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Microbotanical signatures of kreb: differentiating inflorescence phytoliths from northern African wild grasses

Le Moyne, Charles; Fuller, Dorian Q; Crowther, Alison; (2022) Microbotanical signatures of kreb: differentiating inflorescence phytoliths from northern African wild grasses. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 10.1007/s00334-022-00880-3. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Throughout northern Africa, evidence for an intensification of wild grass gathering is reflected in Holocene archaeological contexts. However, both the recovery of macrobotanical assemblages and the specificity of their taxonomic classification are heavily influenced by food processing and post-depositional conditions. In contrast, inflorescence phytoliths provide high levels of taxonomic specificity and preserve well in most archaeological contexts. This study analyses the in situ morphology of inflorescence phytoliths from modern specimens of nine wild C4 grass species commonly observed in ethnographic studies and recovered in seed assemblages from archaeological contexts across northern Africa. Morphological differences in Interdigitate phytoliths within the fertile florets of six Paniceae species enabled differentiation between them. The morphological parameters established in this study provide an additional resource for archaeological and palaeoecological analyses using phytoliths, which demonstrates the effectiveness of applying this method to African wild grass species.

Type: Article
Title: Microbotanical signatures of kreb: differentiating inflorescence phytoliths from northern African wild grasses
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00334-022-00880-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00334-022-00880-3
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Springer Nature Switzerland AG. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Poaceae, Phytolith morphology, Husk, Archaeobotany, Subsistence, Paleoenvironmental reconstruction
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10151063
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