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(Sub)urban gardens from Provence (Southern France, 14th–17th century) and the presence of Ricinus communis

Abstract : Excavation work carried out at Istres and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (Provence, Southern France), in the framework of preventive archaeology, uncovered evidence of ancient gardens (13/14th–17th centuries), equipped with lined wells. Significant numbers of waterlogged remains of fruit species as well as legumes and condiments provided information on the availability of “healthy” foods to complement and diversify the daily diet of urban dwellers, largely dependent on bread. Other herbaceous plants reflecting the background environment of this agriculture-arboriculture production are also identified (weeds, ruderals, plants from meadows and other humid habitats etc.). The archaeobotanical assemblage identified in both sites also includes Ricinus communis, a highly toxic plant. As far as we know this is the first time Ricinus seeds are recorded by archaeobotany in Europe. The likely significance of this discovery is discussed taking into account the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental contexts of the findings and the known history of this plant.
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Contributor : Carine Carpentier Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 24, 2022 - 1:50:18 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 4:20:10 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-03676904, version 1


Isabel Figueiral, Pascale Chevillot, Sophie Martin, Sarah Ivorra, Françoise Paone, et al.. (Sub)urban gardens from Provence (Southern France, 14th–17th century) and the presence of Ricinus communis. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 2021, 30, pp.313-329. ⟨hal-03676904⟩



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