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Crops on the edge of a cliff: Storage at Castro S. João das Arribas (Northwest Iberia) in the Late Antiquity

Abstract: The site of Castro S. João das Arribas is placed on the edge of a cliff over the Douro river (Miranda do Douro, Northeast of Portugal). Archaeological interventions in its highest area uncovered a main occupation from Late Antiquity. On its western part a functional space was recorded, which included two small above-ground structures and abundant charred carpological remains. These were found inside ceramic vessels and spread throughout the area, suggesting its destruction occurred after a fire event. A radiocarbon date places such episode in some moment between the late 6th and the first half of the 7th century CE. Carpological results revealed an assemblage dominated by cereal grains, mostly rye (Secale cereale). Naked wheat (Triticum aestivum/durum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), common millet (Panicum miliaceum) and foxtail millet (Setaria italica) were also found but in smaller amounts. The large amount of carpological remains in the above-mentioned contexts, suggests the space was used for storage, at least between the 6th and 7th centuries CE. Although some uncertainties remain regarding how crops were stored, evidence points that they were kept in ceramic vessels, outside and inside the small storage facilities, but also in other types of containers, eventually made of perishable materials. At Castro S. João das Arribas, past communities chose a diversity of crops, however, most of them show undemanding features in terms of soil and climatic conditions. The agricultural choices could have been motivated by several factors, but cereals like rye were certainly well-suited to the environmental conditions around the settlement.

 Autoría: Seabra L., Pereira P., Salgado M., Martín-Seijo M., Almeida-da-Silva R., Tereso J.P.,

 Fuente: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 2022, 44, 103528

 Editorial: Elsevier

 Fecha de publicación: 01/08/2022

 Nº de páginas: 12

 Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2022.103528

 ISSN: 2352-409X,2352-4103