Updates on archaeobotany

By Chioma Vivian Ngonadi, Associate editor for archaeobotany

The American Society of Overseas Research (ASOR) 2021 Annual Meeting will be held 
November 17-20 in Chicago in-person, and will include a second, virtual, component to be held online December 9-12. As per ASOR protocol, you may choose to present your paper (1) only in Chicago, (2) only in the virtual session or (3) in Chicago and in the virtual session (same paper). Contributions to the virtual Isotopic Investigations in the Ancient Near East and Caucasus Session is ongoing. The objective of this session is to encourage a dialogue among researchers conducting biogeochemical analyses in the region, integrating analytical methods with social and historical questions in ancient communities of the ancient Near East and Caucasus across the periods. The deadline for submission of abstracts (max. 250 words) is March 15, 2021. Instructions for submissions via ASOR’s Online Abstract Management System can be seen at:



Another archaeology online conference titled "Extracting the Past from the Present" is scheduled from (March 1st – 5th, 2021). Papers at this conference explore the possibilities of specific contemporary datasets, and search for interfaces on various aspects of archaeological data.

The International Workshop for African Archaeobotany (IWAA) is held every three years and addressed to scholars working in the field of relationships between plants and humans in Africa. The next 10th IWAA which was scheduled to take place in Paris have been cancelled. 27th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists will be held in Kiel. A wide range of session is scheduled to take place. See the websites for more details.



A new article on 'The Association of Arable Weeds with Modern Wild Cereal Habitats: Implications for Reconstructing the Origins of Plant Cultivation in the Levant' has been published in Environmental Archaeology. This article was published the following authors: Alexander Weide, John G. Hodgson, Hagar Leschner, Guy Dovrat and Jade Whitlam.

In this article the floristic differences between wild cereal habitats and arable fields in the Levant was analysed with a focus on the 'potential' arable weed taxa used in archaeobotany to reconstruct early cultivation. The article can be accesses via the link:


Papers for the Special Issue on "Plants meet Artefacts: developing intersdisciplinary approaches for the identification of plant gathering, processing and use in the archaeological record" is open for intending authors.The aim of this special issue is to bring together specialists on the study of different archaeological artefacts (e.g. pottery, ground stone and flint tools), archaeobotanists (plant macro and microremains) and ethnobotanists, biomolecular archaeologists (organic residue analyses) and researchers specialised on experimental archaeology to discuss current approaches to identify the preparation and usage of plant resources in the past. The issue will be published in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.  The deadline for abstract submission is on the 12th of February. Paper submission will initiate on the 15th of March and will remain open until the 1st of November 2021.

A new article in JAS: Reports reviewing archaeobotanical material from 1st millennium BCE Greece and focusing on the sites of Olynthus and Sikyon have published. The article entitled “What’s new during the first millennium BCE in Greece? Archaeobotanical results from Olynthos and Sikyon” was written by C. Douche, K. Tsirtsi and E. Margaritis. The article can be downloaded from the link below until the 8th of March, 2021:


Archaeobotanical analysis at Kaymakçı, a second-millennium BCE site in western Turkey titled Agricultural practices at Bronze Age Kaymakçı, western Anatolia gives the first evidence for Bronze Age agricultural practices in central western Anatolia, and represents one of a very few contemporary datasets for western Anatolia as a whole. Inhabitants of the site adopted a diversified agricultural system, with major crops including barley, free-threshing wheat, bitter vetch, chickpea, and grape. Spatial analysis of crop taxa suggests differential distribution of wheat and chickpea across the site, while initial results of diachronic analysis indicate a narrowing of wheat agriculture over time.  The article can be dowloaded free from the link below until the 23rd of March, 2021:


A call for paper by the journal Agronomy Special Issue on 'Histories of Crops, between Niche Construction, Domestication and Diversification' is out with a deadline for submission on the 15th of June. Kindly find below the abstract and the link for more information. With this Special Issue of Agronomy, we seek integrative studies that shed light on the origin and diversification of understudied crops, as well as reviews that offer original perspectives on the domestication of major crops. Furthermore, we encourage contributions that investigate the cultural, social, and linguistic background of domestication to create a comprehensive history of the origin and early development of agriculture. 


A recently open access article has been published on the Journal of Vegetation History and Archaeobotanyand can be downloaded from the link below. The article is titled identification of the Triticoid-type grains (Poaceae) from archaeobotanical assemblages in southwest Asia as Heteranthelium piliferum


An exciting project entries on is open to authors from different parts of the world . The Sophie Coe Prize is awarded each year to an engaging, original piece of writing that delivers new research and/or new insights into any aspect of food history. We welcome entries of up to 10,000 words on any relevant topic. The Prize is £1,500 for the winning essay, article or book chapter. Authors may submit one entry only each and they must be delivered to us by this year’s closing date of Friday 23rd April 2021. 

Archaeobotanical remains of sesame (Douche et al. 2021; Fig. 5)

A paper in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences entitled "Crop processing, consumption and trade of Asian rice (*Oryza sativa*) in the Arabian Peninsula during Antiquity: earliest evidence from Mleiha (third c. AD), United Arab Emirates" have been published. They have been found within the burnt levels of an elite residence, mostly under the form of fragmented grains merged by carbonization. They may have been fragmented intentionally for culinary purposes or accidentally during dehulling processes.

Lastly, a new paper on the results of archaeobiological (plants, fauna) analyses from the PPN site of Gusir Höyük in SE Turkey available open access.  It was co-authrored by Kabukcu, Ceren; Asouti, Eleni; Pöllath, Nadja; Peters, Joris; Karul, Necmi andpublished in Scientific Reports 11, 2112 (2021) (Open Access). The paper is entitled “Pathways to plant domestication in Southeast Anatolia based on new data from aceramic Neolithic Gusir Höyük and can be accessed via the link below: