The origin and spread of olive cultivation in the Mediterranean Basin: the fossil pollen evidence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The origin and spread of olive cultivation in the Mediterranean Basin : the fossil pollen evidence. / Langgut, Dafna; Cheddadi, Rachid; Carrion, Jose-Sebastian; Cavanagh, Mark; Colombaroli, Daniele; Eastwood, Warren; Greenberg, Raphael; Litt, Thomas; Mercuri, Anna Maria; Miebach, Andrea; Roberts, C. Neil; Woldring, Hank; Woodbridge, Jessie.

In: The Holocene, Vol. 29, No. 5, 01.05.2019, p. 902-922.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Langgut, D, Cheddadi, R, Carrion, J-S, Cavanagh, M, Colombaroli, D, Eastwood, W, Greenberg, R, Litt, T, Mercuri, AM, Miebach, A, Roberts, CN, Woldring, H & Woodbridge, J 2019, 'The origin and spread of olive cultivation in the Mediterranean Basin: the fossil pollen evidence', The Holocene, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 902-922. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683619826654

APA

Langgut, D., Cheddadi, R., Carrion, J-S., Cavanagh, M., Colombaroli, D., Eastwood, W., Greenberg, R., Litt, T., Mercuri, A. M., Miebach, A., Roberts, C. N., Woldring, H., & Woodbridge, J. (2019). The origin and spread of olive cultivation in the Mediterranean Basin: the fossil pollen evidence. The Holocene, 29(5), 902-922. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683619826654

Vancouver

Author

Langgut, Dafna ; Cheddadi, Rachid ; Carrion, Jose-Sebastian ; Cavanagh, Mark ; Colombaroli, Daniele ; Eastwood, Warren ; Greenberg, Raphael ; Litt, Thomas ; Mercuri, Anna Maria ; Miebach, Andrea ; Roberts, C. Neil ; Woldring, Hank ; Woodbridge, Jessie. / The origin and spread of olive cultivation in the Mediterranean Basin : the fossil pollen evidence. In: The Holocene. 2019 ; Vol. 29, No. 5. pp. 902-922.

Bibtex

@article{6266d669bb884d4cad0840b1b3b206f5,
title = "The origin and spread of olive cultivation in the Mediterranean Basin: the fossil pollen evidence",
abstract = "Olive (Olea europaea L.) was one of the most important fruit trees in the ancient Mediterranean region and a founder species of horticulture in the Mediterranean Basin. Different views have been expressed regarding the geographical origins and timing of olive cultivation. Since genetic studies and macro-botanical remains point in different directions, we turn to another proxy – the palynological evidence. This study uses pollen records to shed new light on the history of olive cultivation and large-scale olive management. We employ a fossil pollen dataset composed of high-resolution pollen records obtained across the Mediterranean Basin covering most of the Holocene. Human activity is indicated when Olea pollen percentages rise fairly suddenly, are not accompanied by an increase of other Mediterranean sclerophyllous trees and when the rise occurs in combination with consistent archaeological and archaeobotanical evidence. Based on these criteria, our results show that the southern Levant served as the locus of primary olive cultivation as early as ~6,500 years BP (yBP), and that a later, early/mid 6th millennium BP cultivation process occurred in the Aegean (Crete) – whether as an independent large-scale management event or as a result of knowledge and/or seedling transfer from the southern Levant. Thus, the early management of olive trees corresponds to the establishment of the Mediterranean village economy and the completion of the {\textquoteleft}secondary products revolution{\textquoteright}, rather than to urbanization or state formation. From these two areas of origin, the southern Levant and the Aegean, olive cultivation spread across the Mediterranean, with the beginning of olive horticulture in the northern Levant dated to ~4,800 yBP. In Anatolia large-scale olive horticulture was palynologically recorded at ~3,200 yBP, in mainland Italy at ~3,400 yBP and in the Iberian Peninsula at mid/late 3rd millennium BP. ",
keywords = "olea europaea, olive cultivation, oleaster, horticulture, palynology, large scale olive management, Neolithic, Chalcolithic",
author = "Dafna Langgut and Rachid Cheddadi and Jose-Sebastian Carrion and Mark Cavanagh and Daniele Colombaroli and Warren Eastwood and Raphael Greenberg and Thomas Litt and Mercuri, {Anna Maria} and Andrea Miebach and Roberts, {C. Neil} and Hank Woldring and Jessie Woodbridge",
year = "2019",
month = may,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0959683619826654",
language = "English",
volume = "29",
pages = "902--922",
journal = "The Holocene",
issn = "0959-6836",
publisher = "SAGE Publications",
number = "5",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The origin and spread of olive cultivation in the Mediterranean Basin

T2 - the fossil pollen evidence

AU - Langgut, Dafna

AU - Cheddadi, Rachid

AU - Carrion, Jose-Sebastian

AU - Cavanagh, Mark

AU - Colombaroli, Daniele

AU - Eastwood, Warren

AU - Greenberg, Raphael

AU - Litt, Thomas

AU - Mercuri, Anna Maria

AU - Miebach, Andrea

AU - Roberts, C. Neil

AU - Woldring, Hank

AU - Woodbridge, Jessie

PY - 2019/5/1

Y1 - 2019/5/1

N2 - Olive (Olea europaea L.) was one of the most important fruit trees in the ancient Mediterranean region and a founder species of horticulture in the Mediterranean Basin. Different views have been expressed regarding the geographical origins and timing of olive cultivation. Since genetic studies and macro-botanical remains point in different directions, we turn to another proxy – the palynological evidence. This study uses pollen records to shed new light on the history of olive cultivation and large-scale olive management. We employ a fossil pollen dataset composed of high-resolution pollen records obtained across the Mediterranean Basin covering most of the Holocene. Human activity is indicated when Olea pollen percentages rise fairly suddenly, are not accompanied by an increase of other Mediterranean sclerophyllous trees and when the rise occurs in combination with consistent archaeological and archaeobotanical evidence. Based on these criteria, our results show that the southern Levant served as the locus of primary olive cultivation as early as ~6,500 years BP (yBP), and that a later, early/mid 6th millennium BP cultivation process occurred in the Aegean (Crete) – whether as an independent large-scale management event or as a result of knowledge and/or seedling transfer from the southern Levant. Thus, the early management of olive trees corresponds to the establishment of the Mediterranean village economy and the completion of the ‘secondary products revolution’, rather than to urbanization or state formation. From these two areas of origin, the southern Levant and the Aegean, olive cultivation spread across the Mediterranean, with the beginning of olive horticulture in the northern Levant dated to ~4,800 yBP. In Anatolia large-scale olive horticulture was palynologically recorded at ~3,200 yBP, in mainland Italy at ~3,400 yBP and in the Iberian Peninsula at mid/late 3rd millennium BP.

AB - Olive (Olea europaea L.) was one of the most important fruit trees in the ancient Mediterranean region and a founder species of horticulture in the Mediterranean Basin. Different views have been expressed regarding the geographical origins and timing of olive cultivation. Since genetic studies and macro-botanical remains point in different directions, we turn to another proxy – the palynological evidence. This study uses pollen records to shed new light on the history of olive cultivation and large-scale olive management. We employ a fossil pollen dataset composed of high-resolution pollen records obtained across the Mediterranean Basin covering most of the Holocene. Human activity is indicated when Olea pollen percentages rise fairly suddenly, are not accompanied by an increase of other Mediterranean sclerophyllous trees and when the rise occurs in combination with consistent archaeological and archaeobotanical evidence. Based on these criteria, our results show that the southern Levant served as the locus of primary olive cultivation as early as ~6,500 years BP (yBP), and that a later, early/mid 6th millennium BP cultivation process occurred in the Aegean (Crete) – whether as an independent large-scale management event or as a result of knowledge and/or seedling transfer from the southern Levant. Thus, the early management of olive trees corresponds to the establishment of the Mediterranean village economy and the completion of the ‘secondary products revolution’, rather than to urbanization or state formation. From these two areas of origin, the southern Levant and the Aegean, olive cultivation spread across the Mediterranean, with the beginning of olive horticulture in the northern Levant dated to ~4,800 yBP. In Anatolia large-scale olive horticulture was palynologically recorded at ~3,200 yBP, in mainland Italy at ~3,400 yBP and in the Iberian Peninsula at mid/late 3rd millennium BP.

KW - olea europaea

KW - olive cultivation

KW - oleaster

KW - horticulture

KW - palynology

KW - large scale olive management

KW - Neolithic

KW - Chalcolithic

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85061600470&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0959683619826654

DO - 10.1177/0959683619826654

M3 - Article

VL - 29

SP - 902

EP - 922

JO - The Holocene

JF - The Holocene

SN - 0959-6836

IS - 5

ER -