Gathering and consumption of wild fruits in the East of the Iberian Peninsula from the 3rd to the 1st millennium BC
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The multiple archaeobotanical studies from the east Iberian Peninsula from 2800 cal. BC to 200 BC have provided around twenty wild fruit taxa of varying importance. The aim of this work is to present these taxa and analyse the most important wild fruits, some of them being cultivated since the First Iron Age. Considering sites with comparable sampling methods, a quantitative difference is not observed between wild species exploited in the several life zones represented in this synthesis: Thermo-, Meso-, Supra- and Montane-Mediterranean zones. Three taxa are common in the three life zones considered: Quercus sp., Sambucus sp. and Rubus sp. More thermophilic taxa, Ficus carica and Olea europaea, are present in the two lower zones, although their values decrease to the north we go and with height, in contrast to what happens with Vitis vinifera. The exploitation of wild resources as a food supplement, in addition to other uses, developed during the 2600 years with several differences. These differences are explained in part by the plants that grow in each of the territories and in part by the organization of the human groups and the forms of land exploitation. Protohistoric human groups would have exploited nearby resources as in the previous periods, and all data confirm the continuity of this fundamental activity. However, gathering seems to have had a fairly small economic importance when considering the low rates of ubiquity of these plants in contrast to those of staple crops.
Is part ofQuaternary International, 2016, vol. 404, p. 69-85
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