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Lien Speleers, Yannick Devos, Bea De Cupere, Koen Deforce, Luc Vrydaghs, Rosalie Hermans and Sylvianne Modrie (2019)

Interdisciplinary study of horticultural practices in late medieval Brussels

In: 18th conference of the international workgroup for palaeoethnobotany, Lecce, 3 - 8 June 2019, pp. 98, Università del Salento.

Over the last decades a series of sites attesting the presence of ancient crop fields and gardens were discovered in the historical center of Brussels. Well aerated crop field and garden soils with a high biological activity, are often not suitable for the preservation of organic plant remains. In most cases, their studies yielded only small quantities of more resistant seeds and fruits. The identification of the cultivated plants relied therefore mainly on phytolith analysis.Recently, a Holocene peat sequence was excavated in the lower part of the city in a quarter that is historically documented as a horticultural area (rue des Boiteux, BR295). Micromorphology showed that the upper layers of the peat sequence were drained during the late Middle Ages and subsequently converted into horticulture. In this poster the potential of studying these contexts will be discussed. Thanks to the prevailing wet conditions of the soil, higher densities of waterlogged macrobotanical remains could be analysed. Remains of divers cultivated plants and garden weeds were found, most probably partly from the local vegetation and local cultivated crops. The archaeobotanical and archaeozoological studies also shed light on manuring practices.
Abstract of an Oral Presentation or a Poster
wetlands, (13) botanique, (15) pédologie

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