Archaeobotany: July 10-14, 2006
Thijs Van Thuyne will not be with us this summer, as he is completing his doctoral dissertation on the macrobotanical remains retrieved through the 2004 season at Sagalassos. In the meantime, an archaeobotanist from the Center for Archaeological Sciences, will be appointed shortly to continue Thijs' work. Currently, the flotation is operating at full capacity, thanks to two of our skilled workmen, Mehmet Asar and Süleyman Yurtsever. Preliminary results from Thijs' dissertation include very interesting finds from Late Antiquity. He confirms that starting in the fifth century A.D., a more diversified type of farming replaced the olive yards and vineyards of the High Empire around the city proper, making the city's inhabitants less vulnerable to potential interruptions in food lines from the villages in the territory. It is striking that threshing inside the city only started in the fifth century A.D., increasing in frequency through the seventh century A.D. and confirming our picture of a settlement that gradually grew to be more rural.
The subsistence pressure on the population is also illustrated by the increased growing of millet, which is less productive but can be harvested on higher and poorer soils during the same season as other crops. Also, pulses (subsistence legumes sometimes called "the meat of the poor"), though they were always present in richer households as well, became more important towards the end of the city's occupation.