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Aea newsletter 74 (november 2001)
Association for Environmental
Newsletter 74 (November 2001)
Edited by Wendy Carruthers and Vanessa Straker
Copy dates for Newsletter: 20th of the following months - January / April / July / October.
Items for the Newsletter may be submitted by e-mail or on disk (3.5" floppy disks in IBM-PCformat as WordPerfect, Word or ASCII files) . Short typed manuscripts can be sent to:
Wendy Carruthers, Sawmills House, Castellau, Llantrisant, Mid Glamorgan CF72 8LQ, U.K. -
Vanessa Straker, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Rd.,
AEA Membership Secretary: Ruth Pelling, 14 Perfect View, Camden, Bath BA1 5JY, UK -e-mail:
In this, the last Newsletter of 2001, there is information about an extended field trip inShropshire and Herefordshire that has been offered in place of the Annual Conference in2002. We would like to thank Tim Mighall and Alison Locker for sending in ConferenceReports, and, as always are very grateful to James Greig for gathering information aboutrecent publications. On James behalf we would like to encourage members to send detailsabout publications to James at
With Christmas rapidly approaching (as if you needed reminding), we d like to wish everyonea Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
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NEWS FROM THE COMMITTEE
Request for Organisers and a Venue for the Autumn 2002 One-day Meeting
The AEA committee is looking for organisers and a venue for the autumn one-day meeting in2002. These meetings normally take place in September or October. One-day meetings areusually an event at which short, informal papers are presented on a wide range of topics;reports on work in progress, especially students research, are particularly encouraged.
Recent one-day meetings have taken place at Birmingham (2001) and York (2000). It is at thediscretion of organisers whether or not they would wish to publish papers presented at aone-day meeting. In 2002, the AGM of the AEA will take place at the one-day meeting. If youare interested please contact Dr. Helen Smith , The School of Conservation Sciences, , Dorset House, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole BH12 5BB,UK. Tel: +44 (0)1202 595 185; Fax: +44 (0)1202 595 255; e-mail:
Election of New AEA Committee Members
As there is no spring conference next year, election of new AEA committee members ispostponed until the Autumn 2002 one-day meeting. However, if you know someone whomyou would like to nominate to serve on the committee or are interested in being a committeemember yourself, please contact Dr. Carol Palmer. The address is: School of Archaeologyand Ancient History, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH. Tel: +44 (0)1274 2564; Fax:. A formal request for nominees will appear nextyear.
Circaea on the Web
Following a member s suggestion, the AEA is investing some of its funds to make Circaea
available on the AEA website (). This service will be password
to make it available to AEA members only
. In the first instance, volumes 1 to 3
will be converted to downloadable format. We will inform members when this new service
becomes available and will also issue a password at that time. Any items, comments and
suggestions in relation to the website are always welcome, please contact the Carol Palmer; e-mail: . [ N.B. please note that the password is no longer
required for access to AEA vols 1-3, which are currently available for public access.
Environmental Archaeology , Volume 6
The sixth Environmental Archaeology
volume will be published shortly and is due to bedistributed in November/December as usual.
CONFERENCES AND MEETINGS
Association for Environmental Archaeology extended Field Trip:
Shropshire and Herefordshire. Early July 2002.
David Smith, The University of Birmingham.
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Geraint Coles, The University of Edinburgh
IntentWith the absence of a formal conference this year, and noting the success of recent QRA fieldoutings, we decided to try to start the ball rolling with the AEA by organising an similarextended field trip. (Equally, we have found that in the past that the field trip is often the mostenjoyable and useful part of the normal three-day conference -so why bother with the papers).
Shropshire and the Welsh Borders is a beautiful, biologically diverse, archaeologically rich butlargely unexplored area of Britain.
Our base for the trip will be just south of Shrewsbury, Shropshire. We are planning on using anumber of small, comfortable hotels as our base for three nights.
Wroxeter Roman town tour in particular with emphasis on the recent results of the remote
sensing survey. Possible tour of the Wroxeter Vineyard.Caer Cardoc
hill fort and the environmental sequence of the Chruch Stretton Gap.
walk up the Wrekin to watch the sun set)
: Mitchel s Fold stone circle.
Powys Castle gardens
Nature reserve at Llanyminich hill fort.
(formal dinner)Day 3
Tour of the deer park at Attingham.
Recent botanical and entomological work at Birches Farm Hay meadows.
We are aiming to keep the costs at around £ 150.00 to £ 200.00 per person. Numbers will be
limited to 14 people. Dates and full costings will be provided in the February newsletter.
To reserve your place or if you have any questions please contact:David Smith, Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, The University of Birmingham,Edgbaston, Birmingham. B152TT. Phone: 0121 414 6542.
4th INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON PHYTOLITH RESEARCH 2002
New Perspectives in Phytolith Research: Climate, Environment and Archaeology
The meeting will be held at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research from the
morning of 28 August till the afternoon of 31 August 2002
. The Conference has five
presentation sessions that will be run plenary:
Phytolith Taxonomy, Methodology and Taphonomy
Phytoliths in Palaeoclimatology and Palaeoecology
Phytoliths in Archaeological Structures, Ancient Agriculture and Hunter-Gatherers
Phytoliths in Soil Studies and Micromorphology
Each presentation will last 20 minutes and there will be 10-15 minutes for discussion.
There also will be a Poster Session with 5 minutes introduction for each poster and 5-10
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All information about the conference can be found at :
Marco MadellaThe McDonald InstituteDowning StreetCambridge, CB2 3ERe-mail: fax 01223-339285
AEA One day meeting in honour of Professor Susan Limbrey
University of Birmingham, 18th September 2001.
This one-day meeting was organised by Megan Brickley and David Smith to honour Professor
Susan Limbrey s contribution to the field of environmental archaeology. The conference
attracted a diverse array of papers, many of which reflect Susan s own academic interests
and were presented by colleagues who have worked with Susan or have been inspired by
Susan s own research. John Hunter
(University of Birmingham) described the sizeable
contribution Susan Limbrey has made to the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology
at Birmingham University whilst Allan Hall
(EAU, University of York) outlined the importance
of Susan s research in shaping the field of environmental archaeology. It was fitting,
therefore, that Allan had the pleasurable task of informing the audience that Susan had been
made an honorary member of the Association for Environmental Archaeology.
In a room devoid of heating it was most appropriate that Tony Brown
presented pollen data from a late-glacial to early Holocene organic sediment from a
palaeochannel located in the Lugg valley in the Severn-Wye Catchment. Combined with
radiocarbon dates, chronomid and fossil insect data, this site provides us with a snapshot of
vegetation probably marking the beginning of the Windermere Interstadial in the western
Midlands of Britain. The palaeoenvironmental reconstruction theme continued with a paper byDenise Druce
(Lampeter, University of Wales). Denise presented the evidence for Holocene
sea-level changes in the Severn Estuary. Denise then placed the significant of these changes
in an archaeological context. Interestingly, one of the major positive sea level tendencies
around 3000 to 2500 Cal BC coincides with evidence of occupation and utilisation of the
(Sheffield University) presented an interesting paper on the history and
management of woodland in the Pindos Mountains of Greece. Historically woodland in this
region of north-west Greece has been managed to provide leafy hay. Caroline compared the
historical documentary evidence and with tree-ring data. The degree of compatibility between
the two approaches provides a good example of testing the reliability of interpreting landscape
changes and evidence for woodland management using tree-ring data
Soil was the major focus of five of the conference papers. Jen Heathcote (English Heritage)and Erika Guttmann (University of Stirling) covered the evolution of landscapes and soildevelopment in two papers. Using pedo-geomorphological mapping and more detailedanalyses of selected soil profiles Jen discussed the extent and cause of accelerated soil
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erosion in the Lesser Antilles and the implications that past land use changes has for modernfarming and land use. Erika discussed the long-term development of anthropogenic soils inthe Northern Isles of Scotland. These Isles provide evidence for the creation of plaggen soilsfrom the Neolithic onwards with their use intensifying in the Iron Age and Norse period.
Phosphate analysis has been used to provide evidence for the possible application ofmanures/fertilisers.
(Reading University) convincingly outlined the value of soil micromorphology
in archaeology. Wendy discussed some of the soil micromorphological data she and
co-researchers have gleaned from the Neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyuk in Turkey. Wendy
discussed how the evidence provided details the spatial and temporal variation in activities
and conventions within the complex buildings with wall paintings. Raimonda Usai
Heritage) has been investigating the application of micromorphological structures found in the
soil to help identify past phases of agricultural activity. Although progress is being made in this
area of research Raimonda discussed some of the difficulties in recognising diagnostic
(English Heritage) reviewed his research on the impact of earthworms on
sediment stratigraphy. Matt demonstrated using a variety of examples how earthworms can
internally re-organise material in a soil profile. However, the production of excreted calcite
granules may also have advantages in helping archaeologists resolve some stratigraphic
issues through concentration counts, identification and possibly dating.
The daily live of people is a subject that has always fascinated archaeologists and thus it is an
area of research that has attracted much attention including Rebecca Redfearn
Durham). Rebecca is using a biocultural approach to reconstruct the urban environment and
health of people during Roman times. To date Rebecca s results are encouraging.
Palaeopathological data from a number of cemeteries across southern Britain has provided
evidence of some of the health problems suffered by people who lived in Roman towns and
provides some useful insights about urban sanitary conditions and diet. In contrast, Rebecca
(Herefordshire Council) presented a synthesis of the evidence for circular field
systems in Herefordshire. Using a combination of field mapping and reference to early
editions of ordnance survey maps Rebecca outlined the nature of circular field systems and
then discussed how and when these systems formed.
(Birmingham University) and Nicki Whitehouse (Queens University, Belfast)
finished the afternoon session with a discussion of fossil insect data found in prehistoric
woodlands across Britain. Their results suggest that diverse faunal assemblages existed
across Britain in early and mid-Holocene woodlands. The traditional view of urwaldrelikt
faunas and a decline in species as a result of habitat loss and forest clearance by humans
from the Early Iron Age may need updating!
In summary the diversity and content of the papers presented made this a very enjoyable oneday conference and an excellent way to honour Susan Limbrey s academic career. We cannow look forward to reading the planned publication of the proceedings!
Geography, Coventry University
ICAZ Fish Remains Working Group Conference.
Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. October 8-15th
The FRWG conference (held every 2 years) was hosted by Foss Leach and Janet Davidsonof Te Papa Museum of New Zealand in Wellington. The conference was held in Paihia in the
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NE of the North Island, a popular resort for sports fishermen and followed by a 3 day field tripending in Aukland.
The distance did not deter delegates from many countries attending to give 38 papers. Thedelivery of 20 minute papers in 30 minute time slots allowed lively discussion to develop, thepapers were wide ranging in both location and subject, mostly fish with a few papers onshellfish. New Zealand and Australia were well represented with other papers from the Pacificincluding the Cook Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji and Hawaii. The wide range of topicsincluded; Salmonidae in Japan, fish in Mexican offerings, coastal fisheries from 5th 1 stmillenium BC in SE Arabia, Neolithic fish from Borneo, avoidance or differential preservationof eel remains in the Pacific and New Zealand and storage of fish in Shetland.
A general interest through the papers seemed to develop with regard to the different waysused to quantifying the fish bone data both by bone numbers and other methods, includingweight. Fish species and calculation of their size were frequently used to reconstruct changesin marine exploitation, for example at; Precolumbian village sites in Jamaica, the St Augustinearea in the SE USA and in the type of fish targeted in prehistoric fishing strategies in Hawaii.
A depletion in the amount and variety of fish consumed at Lachish (Israel) was evident fromthe Bronze Age to the Iron Age. Large boreal gadids were present in Palaeolithic levels fromNerja on the Costa del Sol, Spain, in contrast to later deposits dominated by Mediterraneanmid water groups. Tony Pitcher, a fish biologist, considered much of this archaeological datato be relevant in respect to modern fishing policies, in the current climate of global depletion offish stocks through over fishing.
Other topics explored included; difficulties in radio carbon dating fish bone, the use of mtDNAto differentiate species within osteologically similar fish families. On a more ethnographictheme; the role of women and children in Scottish fisheries within historic times and anunusual use of fish vertebrae in a religious context broadened the theme beyond that ofinterpreting specific assemblages.
These papers are intended for publication in Archaeofauna and the next meeting is to be heldin Mexico in 2003.
The verdant green of New Zealand in the spring was amply maintained by heavy rainfall andso the reliability of weather conditions on the free day mid conference for boat trips was indoubt. Janet arranged a bus and we visited a pa (similar to iron age hillforts) used by theMaori. We then viewed the Hundertwasser public toilets whose RennieMackintosh/Flintstones architectural style must be unparalleled. After lunch at a winery wearrived at the Treaty House where the Waitangi treaty was signed in 1840 between the BritishCrown and Maori chiefs. The translations of the treaty left the interpretation of this documentopen to much legal dispute ever since.
The walk back to Paihia stirred appetites for the excellent conference dinner that night at thePaihia Beach Hotel. Local restaurants were amply tested in the evenings in Paihia with muchfish consumed. Tom Largy (who accompanied his wife Tonya for the fishing) and Tony Leggecaught enough fish for 2 memorable dinners cooked for us at the Swordfish Club whichcoincidentally had the cheapest drinks in town.
The field trip left on the Saturday and Janet had prepared an extensive guide book. On thefirst day we visited the early 19th century Mission House and Stone Store House at Kerikeri,both restored to their original state. Another pa (Kororipo) was seen close by, belonging toa famous warrior chief, Hongi Hika . Driving on eastwards we passed extinct volcaniccones and lava fields with the stone remains of pre European cultivation gardens on the wayto the pa at Pouerua, Rain became synonymous with pa s and this one involved awalk across farm fields and up to the top. At this point the coach driver seemed to accept theinevitability of mud and other organic matter on his carpets! After a picnic lunch we visited
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Ohaeawai church (1871) built on the site of a pa , the objective of an unsuccessful attackby British forces in 1845. We arrived at Omapere a resort on the west coast, where somehardy individuals swam in the sea here during a beautiful sunny late afternoon.
The next day we visited the Waipoua Forest and saw the largest surviving Kauri tree, themuseum showed pictorial evidence of the kauri gum industry which flourished between thelate 19th and early 20th century. Arriving at the Te Houhanga Marae (the marae is the socialcentre for local Maori communities) we were warmly welcomed and learnt something of theMaori traditions and their role in a modern New Zealand and listened to songs by the children.
Lunch was accompanied by more songs and dances by the children followed by a finalmeeting in the marae and after much hospitality we took our leave. Arriving at Whangeraiback on the east coast, where we were to spend the night, we visited the Museum of Fishes.
This was a wonderful collection, a mixture of live fish, casts of many species, stuffed birds andshell collections.
Leaving Whangerai we went to Goat Island, to the Leigh Marine Laboratory (part of AuklandUniversity) where a student spoke of his work radio tracking snapper (sea bream toEuropeans) to record their movements within the marine reserve. A lunch time visit to awinery included a talk and extensive tasting of the wine produced there, followed by lunch.
Driving on to Aukland a visit was made to the Seamart fish shop and finally to Mt Eden, anextinct volcanic cone with archaeological evidence of broad terraces and deep pits,unfortunately only viewed from the coach due to rain. At this point some delegates were off tothe airport for long flights while others had a few days in reserve for more sight seeing.
Much of this review seems to have centred round hospitality and not just the excellent foodand New Zealand wines. Foss and Janet (along with others from their museum, particularlyColleen Stuart and Jim Samson) had obviously spent much time preparing for the conferenceand were tireless during it meeting everyone s needs. We all had a memorable time andhave much to thank them for.
Alison Locker 6/11/2001
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
"The potential of chironomids for characterising urban and rural human activities"
We are currently undertaking a Leverhulme funded project investigating thepalaeoenvironmental potential of chironomids in archaeological contexts.
Chironomids have been shown to be sensitive to changes in trophic status, as well aseffective indicators of levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) and total phosphorus (TP) in freshwaterbodies. We will be working on waterlogged, reasonably organic rich sediments in both ruraland urban contexts. If anyone is currently excavating a site which is likely to yield suchsediments and wanted some analyses for chironomids undertaken, then there is a possibilitythat this could be done as part of the project and we would be interested to hear from you.
Likewise if suitable samples have already been taken and archived (kept dark, damp, cool orfrozen) then please contact us.
Pete Langdon - email: - Telephone: 01392 264443Tony Brown - email: - Telephone: 01392 263331
Alison Locker has recently completed her Ph D thesis at the Dept of Archaeology, University
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The role of stored fish in England 900-1750 AD; the evidence from historical and
This thesis examines the historical and archaeological data for the consumption of herringand the gadid fishes (primarily cod, haddock, whiting, ling and hake) as stored fish cured bysalting, drying and smoking.
The thesis is divided into three parts, in the first part the historical evidence for developingfisheries, storage methods, marketing and consumption is discussed with an evaluation of thenutritional changes to the fish as a result of storage.
In part two factors affecting fish bone preservation and recovery are presented and theauthors own recording criteria. A new methodology is introduced using the documented datafor portions and rations from monasteries and the forces, showing herring and the gadids byvolume of fish eaten compared with the number of bones counted. Distribution of body partsas evidence for stored and fresh fish in the large gadids, hitherto only used to showprocessing is adapted for application to the data sample which largely representsconsumption.
In part three the 20 sites comprising the data sample are described. Portion
and body part
methods are applied to the herring and gadid bones from these assemblages. In the majority
of sites herring predominate by number of bones, by portion cod becomes the primary fish in
many cases. Evidence for stored cod, ling and hake were found by body part distribution in
The results of this study have shown that the archaeological data, when expressed as avolume of fish, supports the historical evidence for cod as the prime fish among thesespecies, both as fresh and stored. Fish assemblages transcribed into portion from bonenumbers present fish as a volume of food and often relegate herring, excessively favoured bybone numbers, into a subsidiary position.
A limited number of copies are available in reduced size format as a paperback 14x21cms,305 pp, b/w with 1 colour frontispiece.
Price 12.00 pounds + postage (or equivalent in French francs or US dollars).
To order contact; Alison Locker, Appt 207, Chateau Perigord 1, 6 Lacets St Leon, MC 98000,Monaco.
Email Tel +377 9770 4337Fax + 377 9770 4336
As always, we are very grateful to James Greig for the following information. James writes:
Many thanks to Örni Akeret, Mark Beech, Richard Carter, Petra Dark, Marianne
Kohler-Schneider, Angela Monckton, W. van Zeist for sending in references. All referenceswould be very gratefully received on
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R. Buxó and E. Pons (1999) Els productes alimentaris d'origen vegetal a l'adat del ferro del'Europe occidental: de la producció al consum
[Plant foods in Iron Age Europe, in Catalan].
(Sèrie Monogràphica, Museu d'Arqueologa de Catalunya, Girona, 18) Museu d'Arquelogia,Girona, 413 pp. price FF 240, E36.59
P.D.S. Caligari and P.E. Brandham (2001) Wheat taxonomy: the legacy of John Percival
. (The Linnean
, special issue 3) The Linnean Society of London, London, 190 pp.
B.D. Cupere (2001) Animals at ancient Salagassos; evidence of the bone remains
. (SEMA(Studies in Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology), 4) Brepols, Turnhout/B, 271 pp. ISBN 2 50351062 0, 59.5 ? Euro; info www.brepols.net
D.F. Dineauze (2000) Environmental archaeology; principles and practice
. CambridgeUniversity Press, Cambridge, 587 pp. ISBN 0 521 32568 4 hb; £70 hb, £24.95 pb
V. Fiorato, A. Boylston and C. Knüsel (2000) Blood red roses: the archaeology of a massgrave from the Battle of Towton, AD 1461
. Oxbow, Oxford, 277 pp. ISBN 1 84217 025 2; £30hb
M. Frey and N. Hanel (2001) Archäologie - Naturwissenschafen - Umwelt; Beiträge derArbeitsgemeinschaft "Römische Archäologie"
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A.T. Grove and O. Rackham (2001) The nature of Mediterranean Europe: an ecologicalhistory
, London, Yale, 384 pp. ISBN 0 300 08433 9; £45 hb
S. Howell-Meurs (2001) Early Bronze and Iron Age animal exploitation in northeasternAnatolia; the faunal remains from Sos Höyük and Büyüktepe Höyük
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J. Peters, W.V. Neer and I. Plug (1997) Comparative postcranial osteology of hartebeest,
scimitar, oryx, and addax with notes on the osteometry of gemsbok and Arabian oryx
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pp. ISBN 2 87398 005 2
M.J. Beech (2001) In the Land of the Ichthyophagi: Modelling fish exploitation in the ArabianGulf and Gulf of Oman from the 5th millennium B.C. to the Late Islamic period
. Doctoralthesis, York University
R.J. Carter (2001) Human subsisence and seasonality in Mesolithic northwest Europe, basedon studies of mandibular bone and dentition in red deer (Cervus elaphus) and roe deer(Capreolus capreolus)
. Doctoral thesis, University College, London
R. Alvey and A. Monckton (2000) Charred plant remains. In N. J. Cooper (ed.), The
archaeology of Rutland Water: excavations at Empingham and the Gwash valley, Rutland,
1967-73 and 1990
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Water: excavations at Empingham and the Gwash valley, Rutland, 1967-73 and 1990
(Leicester Archaeology Monographs 6
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M. Ciaraldi (2001) Food as a ritual object in ancient Italy. In D. Gheorghiu (ed.), Material,virtual and temporal compositions: on the relationships between object
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K. Dobney, M. Beech and D. Jaques (1999) Hunting the broad spectrum revolution: thecharacterisation of early Neolithic animal exploitation at Qermez Dere northern Mesopotamia.
In J.C. Driver (ed.), Zooarchaeology of the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary
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J.N. Haas and J.P. Hadorn (1998) Die Vegetations- und Kulturlandschaftgeschichte des
Seebachtals von der Mittelsteinzeit bis zum Frühmittelalter anhand von Pollenanalysen [The
history of vegetation and cultural landscape of the Seebachtal from the middle iron age to the
early medieval, by pollen analysis]. In A. Hasenfratz and M. Schnyder (eds.), Das Seebachtal
- eine archäologisch und paläoökologische Bestandesaufnahme
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A. Morrison (2000) The animal bone. In N. J. Cooper (ed.), The archaeology of Rutland
Water: excavations at Empingham and the Gwash valley, Rutland, 1967-73 and 1990.
(Leicester Archaeology Monographs 6
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K. Pasda and J. Weinstock (2001) Die Tierknochenfunde aus Calden [the animal bone fromCalden]. In D. Rätzel-Fabian (ed.), Das neolithische Erdwerk Calden
P.J. Reynolds (1999) Crop yields of the prehistoric cereal types emmer and spelt: the worstoption. In P. C. Anderson (ed.), Prehistory of agriculture
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Ö. Akeret and P. Rentzel (2001) Micromorphology and plant macrofossil analysis of cattle
dung from the Neolithic lake shore settlement of Arbon Bleiche 3. Geoarchaeolog
T. Anderson (2001) An example of unhealed osteochondritis dissecans of the medial
cuneiform. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 11(5)
M. Beech (1999a) Dalma archaeological site yields Arabia's oldest date stones. Tribulus
(Journal of the Emirates Natural History Group) 9(1)
M. Beech (1999b) Srbec: the animal bones. Památky Archeologické 90
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from site JH-57, a 4th-5th millennium BC shell midden in Jazirat al-Hamra, Ra's al-Khaimah.Tribulus (Journal of the Emirates Natural History Group) 11(1
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R. Bonnichsen, L. Hodges, W. Ream, et al. (2001) Methods for the study of ancient hair:
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SONDERVERÖFFENTLICHUNG ZU "NAUTISCHE NACHRICHTEN" Medizin-Box für Sportboote * Dr. med. Frank Praetorius (Innere Medizin/Kardiologie/Reisemedizin). Beratung: Chefapothekerin Dr. Antje Kneisel (Klinikum Offenbach am Main) Segler als Bootseigner können sich sowohl im penfahrt wird sie wie die Medikamenten-Box gewohnten Küstenbereich wie auch auf sorg-durch eine zu
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