26 March, 2006

Crop processing models #1

Model 1: G. Hillman (1981, 1984)

Hillman proposed the harvesting and grain-processing model. This was a seminal work and established a new standard in archaeobotany, and it has been extended by many archaeologists in order to interpret archaeobotanical assemblages.

His model presents each crop processing stage, and the sequences of archaic glume wheat processing are threshing, primary winnowing, coarse sifting of spikelets (two steps), parching, pounding, secondary winnowing, and coarse and fine sieving. The grain is transferred to bulk storage facilities. Hand sorting is done in small batches as and when the grain is needed for further processing for food. The stage of free-threshing wheat processing are threshing, primary winnowing, and coarse sieving, and then the grain is transferred to bulk storage facilities.

  • Hillman, G. 1981a. Reconstructing crop husbandry practice from charred remains of crops. In Mercer, R.J. (ed.) Farming practice in British prehistory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 123-161.
  • Hillman, G. 1981b. Cereal remains from Tell Ilbol and Tell Qaramel. In J. Matthers(ed.) The River Qoueiq, northern Syria, and its catchment: studies arising from the Tell Rifa’at survey 1977-79. BAR International Series 98: 503-507.
  • Hillman, G. 1984. Interpretation of archaeological plant remains: the application of ethnographic models from Turkey. In W. van Zeist and W.A. Casparie (eds.) Plants and ancient man: studies in palaeoethnobotany. Rotterdam: A.A.Balkema. 1-41.

Model 2: M. Jones (1985)
The model by M. Jones indicates that grain was less valued on arable producer settlement where it was present in vast quantities and a non-producer site receiving the crop product through exchange where probably only the waste material from any final processing was to be discarded into the settlement fires.
  • Jones, M. 1985. Archaeobotany beyond subsistence reconstruction. In G. Barker and C. Gamble (eds.) Beyond domestication in prehistoric Europe: investigations in subsistence archaeology and social complexity. London: Academic Press. 107-128.

Model 3: G. Jones (1983, 1987)
Jones describes how the separation of the different products and by-products was archived by the weed seeds extracted at each stage of the crop processing: 1) size of seed is relevant to fine sieving; 2) tendency of seeds to remain in heads despite threshing or to retain large projections is relevant to coarse sieving; 3) the aerodynamic properties of seeds are relevant to winnowing. Also she developed a crop-processing model in which crop products were separated statistically.
  • Jones, G. 1983. The ethnoarchaeology of crop processing: seeds of a middle-range methodology. Archaeological Review from Cambridge 2 (2): 17-26.
  • Jones, G. 1987. A statistical approach to the archaeological identification of crop processing. Journal of Archaeological Science 14: 311-323.

No comments:

Post a Comment