Flax, Bupleurum and Other Plants at Early Bronze Age Yenibademli Hoyuk (Gokceada), NW Turkey


OYBAK DÖNMEZ E. , HÜRYILMAZ H.

ENVIRONMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14614103.2022.2063473
  • Title of Journal : ENVIRONMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY
  • Keywords: Archaeobotany, flax, Bupleurum, Yenibademli Hoyuk, Gokceada, Imbros, ESSENTIAL OIL, CHEMICAL-COMPOSITION, LINUM-USITATISSIMUM, CROP, CULTIVATION, ANCIENT, LINSEED, GREECE, GRAPE, FIBER

Abstract

In this study, a large number of carbonised plant remains recovered from the Early Bronze Age levels of the Yenibademli Hoyuk site, which is situated on Gokceada (Imbros), north-western Turkey (Anatolia), in the north-east Aegean Sea, are examined to shed light on the plant-based agricultural economy. The archaeobotanical assemblage is predominantly composed of domesticated cereals and legumes and includes clover, grapevine, flax, Bupleurum and weedy species. Potential uses of the crop plants by the inhabitants, about 5000 years ago, are evaluated, based on archaeobotanical, ethnographic, ethnobotanical and historical data sources. The present study pays particular attention to finds of pure flax and Bupleurum seeds, recorded in abundance in recent excavations on the site. The flax seeds were discovered in container-related contexts, close to and within vessels. They are considered as stored products, probably for various purposes; potentially for cultivation to produce textile fibres and/or for use as food, medicine, animal feed supplement, or oil extraction. Many weaving tools recovered from the settlement are also considered to be for fabric production, potentially including linen textiles. Regarding Bupleurum, in the light of ancient Greek texts and ethnopharmacological information, it is hypothesised that its seeds found in a jug may represent storage for growing the plant to obtain its aerial and root parts, possibly for herbal medicine preparation or food and beverage preparation, or both.