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Isabel Figueiral, Hervé Pomarèdes, Mona Court-Picon, Laurent Bouby, Christophe Tardy and Jean-Frédéric Terral (2015)

New insights into Mediterranean Gallo-Roman farming: a closer look at archaeological wells in Southern France

Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 7:201-233.

Archaeological wells have recently become a major source of palaeoenvironmental and palaeoeconomic information, thus, providing the background for past day-to-day material life. At the site of La Lesse–Espagnac (Hérault), combined evidence from archaeobotany, morphometry and palynology, from two wells, offers a coherent picture of the diversity of the local Gallo-Roman farming economy, whose development was fuelled by the proximity of a major urban centre (Colonia Urbs Julia Septimanorum Baeterra—present day Béziers). The ever present vine growing and wine making were complemented by other food crops such as fruit trees, vegetables, condiments and cereals. The dense network of farming establishments and the scale of their production could only aggravate the extent of anthropogenic impact on the local natural woodlands and would explain the very minor role of typical thermophilous trees in the pollen diagram. The overmultiplication of these farming establishments may explain why some of them apparently ran out of momentum and eventually failed.

Impact Factor
Pollen, Vegetation response, Human impact, Food, Plant macrofossils, Méditerranée occdicentale, France, Gallo-romain
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Earth and History of Life

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