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Crop growing and plant consumption in coastal Languedoc (France) in the Second Iron Age: new data from Pech Maho (Aude), Lattara (Hérault) and Le Cailar (Gard)

Rovira, Núria, Alonso, Natàlia
Vegetation history and archaeobotany 2018 v.27 no.1 pp. 85-97
Vitis, archaeobotany, grains, France
Archaeological and archaeobotanical research in coastal Languedoc, southern France, has been extensive over the last 30 years, with work on several major sites aiming to understand not only the role of local crop growing but also exchanges of plant products with many Mediterranean societies. With regard to the Iron Age, recent excavations and studies have provided new information about the agricultural systems and plant consumption practices there during the 6th–4th centuries BC. The results demonstrate a well-structured crop growing based on cereals and pulses together with an increasing amount of fruit, especially grapevine. During the 3rd–2nd centuries BC there are changes representing the new Roman trends. The main aim of this article is therefore to discuss these two Second Iron Age periods, 6th–4th and 3rd–2nd centuries, focusing on both economic and cultural aspects through their comparison. For this, we present new archaeobotanical data on seed and fruit analyses from three archaeological sites, Pech Maho, Lattara and Le Cailar, which share many environmental, economic and cultural characteristics.