Agricultural Implications of Wheat and Barley Grain Measurements at Ancient Gordion, Turkey

UBIK, Emily - Boston University
John M. MARSTON - Boston University

Free-threshing wheat (Triticum aestivum, T. durum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) were staple cereal crops in the ancient Near East. What types of farming systems did people use to yield reliable harvests? The analysis and categorization of grain seed size and shape allows us to define cultivation techniques, such as irrigation, and potentially identify different varieties of each crop. In this poster, we present the measurements of more than 1,000 complete wheat and barley grains from the site of Gordion in central Turkey, occupied from the Early Bronze Age (2500 BCE) to the Medieval period (14th century CE). We compare this data to climatic records, previous grain measurement analysis from earlier periods at the site, and contemporaneous sites across the Near East, to shed light on environmental changes and agricultural practices over time. This poster presents a comparative perspective on the value of seed measurements for reconstructing Near Eastern farming systems.