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Paleobotany

Paleobotany gives us information on the landscape, climate, nourishment and the handcraft (enlace a “Textil product”) of ancient populations. Therefore, it is essential to retrieve the organic remains that are difficult to observe at first glance during the excavation. For this purpose, it is used a system based on hydric flotation of a sample of sediments extracted from the archaeological site.

 

Máquina de flotación empleada en la recuperación de restos arqueológicos de pequeño tamañoFlotation device emploied to recover the archaeological remains of small size.
Observación y determinación de semillas bajo la lupa binocular Observation and determination of seeds beneath the binocular microscope.

 

The device consists of three vertical cylindrical tanks, made of polypropylene (PPH) with a capacity for 300, 700 and 850 liters. The latter two act as clarifier of solid particles and the first houses the circuit for separating the sediment from lighter parts through water jets. Thus, we obtain a closed-loop autonomous machine with low water consumption. The heavy sediment (sand and gravel, bones, tiny objects of stone metal, shell or glass, etc.) are deposited in a fine mesh on a perforated plate in the first deposit, while the lighter sediment (stems, seeds, roots, fibers, wood charcoal, etc..) are collected in a second sieve placed beneath a chute leading from the first to second tank. The pressure is supplied by a hydraulic pump, whose output can be adjusted to match the grain size and the volume of sediment processed.



 

The plant remains obtained indicate that the landscape of La Bastida during Argaric time was different than today’s. Riverside forests were abundant and permanent in that time. The mountains were covered with kermes oaks, wild olive and mastic tree more or less densely. The incidence of Argaric economy through the agriculture, grain, livestock, metal and pottery led to significant deforestation and aridity of the plains.

The remains of wood found in the dwellings reported that  wood was used as fuel, as well as construction material (beams, poles) and to manufacture artefacts. Thus, some handles were made of lush and dense wood, like oak and kermes, to prevent splintering, as shown by the remains attached to the axe placed in one of the graves of La Bastida.


 

 

Conjunto de semillas

 

On the other hand, the remains of seeds and fruits indicate a diet based on cereal (barley and some wheat). This one was supplemented with legumes (beans), figs and berries, among others. There is a reduction in the variety of food species in an advance period of the Argar. The agriculture was focused on barley fields requiring even larger cultivation fields.
 

Photo Gallery

Flotation device employed to recuperate the archaeological remains of small size.

Flotation device employed to recuperate the archaeological remains of small size.

Collection of archaeological remains on suspension.

Collection of archaeological remains on suspension.

Ligneous remains on the edge of a flat axe.

Ligneous remains on the edge of a flat axe.

  • Flotation device employed to recuperate the archaeological remains of small size.
  • Collection of archaeological remains on suspension.
  • Ligneous remains on the edge of a flat axe.

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