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Carbon stable isotope analysis of cereal remains as a way to reconstruct water availability: preliminary results

Flohr, P., Muldner, G. and Jenkins, E. (2011) Carbon stable isotope analysis of cereal remains as a way to reconstruct water availability: preliminary results. Water History, 3 (2). pp. 121-144. ISSN 1877-7244

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s12685-011-0036-5

Abstract/Summary

Reconstructing past water availability, both as rainfall and irrigation, is important to answer questions about the way society reacts to climate and its changes and the role of irrigation in the development of social complexity. Carbon stable isotope analysis of archaeobotanical remains is a potentially valuable method for reconstructing water availability. To further define the relationship between water availability and plant carbon isotope composition and to set up baseline values for the Southern Levant, grains of experimentally grown barley and sorghum were studied. The cereal crops were grown at three stations under five different irrigation regimes in Jordan. Results indicate that a positive but weak relationship exists between irrigation regime and total water input of barley grains, but no relationship was found for sorghum. The relationship for barley is site-specific and inter-annual variation was present at Deir ‘Alla, but not at Ramtha and Khirbet as-Samra.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Scientific Archaeology
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:35721
Publisher:Springer

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