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Romano-Libyan Agriculture: Crops and Animals

By Marijke Van der Veen, Annie Grant and Graeme Barker


Introduction: Samples of plant remains and animal bones were collected from a series of Romano-Libyan sites. With the exception of the excavations at site Lm4, most of the excavations consisted of trial trenches in middens. These trenches were often small and the middens shallow, and the amount of botanical and faunal material collected from each site was invariably small. However, whilst the samples cannot be regarded simplistically as representative of each settlement's system of obtaining and consuming food, they at least provide a broad general picture of the range of food species available to the occupants, together with some indications of how these species were exploited. Given the paucity of such material from the pre-desert hitherto, they provide an invaluable body of new evidence for the nature of Romano-Libyan agriculture in this environment. The evidence provided by other botanical and faunal samples for agricultural systems in ensuing periods in the study area is discussed in Chapter 12. The Romano-Libyan sites from which we obtained botanical and faunal samples can be divided into two categories: large open farms and fortified farms or gsur; no samples were collected from the small farmsteads or hilltop villages. The origin of the botanical and faunal samples is described below and their location is shown in Figure 8.1; unless otherwise stated, both botanical and faunal remains were recovered from each site excavated. Many of the sites have been mentioned in preceding chapters and full details for each of them are available in the survey gazetteer in the companion volume. All the plant remains were analysed by Marijke van der Veen; a preliminary report was published in 1985 (van der Veen, 1985). The faunal samples collected in the first four seasons were analysed by Gill Clark, who has published a preliminary report on them (Clark, 1986), and those of the last season by Annie Grant; the sites they studied are indicated by their respective initials in the following site comments.Metadata only entr

Publisher: UNESCO Publishing / Department of Antiquities (Tripoli) / Society for Libyan Studies
Year: 1996
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