An Agroecological Perspective on Crop Domestication in Western Asia


This is an abstract from the "Questioning the Fundamentals of Plant and Animal Domestication" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Domestication has been discussed inter alia as a syndrome, a case study in niche construction and a reversible process. These perspectives frame new understandings of how management practice shaped domestication processes. For plants, recent experimental work has also been important for clarifying the effect of domestication on key parameters such as yield, as well as the importance of certain growing conditions for achieving this potential. Here we present recent work at Oxford on the agroecology of Neolithic-Bronze Age cultivation in western Asia, especially from the perspective of early weed flora. We find indications of increasing labour inputs per unit area through the Neolithic (‘intensification’) but a reversal of this tendency as agrosystems became more extensive in the Bronze Age (‘extensification’). These agroecological trends, in turn, correspond with changes in domestication traits, including grain size.

Cite this Record

An Agroecological Perspective on Crop Domestication in Western Asia. Michael Charles, Charlotte Diffey, Laura Green, Amy Bogaard. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451482)

Spatial Coverage

min long: 26.191; min lat: 12.211 ; max long: 73.477; max lat: 42.94 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25446