Direct dating reveals the early history of opium poppy in western Europe

Salavert, Aurélie and Zazzo, Antoine and Martin, Lucie and Antolín, Ferran and Gauthier, Caroline and Thil, François and Tombret, Olivier and Bouby, Laurent and Manen, Claire and Mineo, Mario and Mueller-Bieniek, Aldona and Piqué, Raquel and Rottoli, Mauro and Rovira, Núria and Toulemonde, Françoise and Vostrovská, Ivana. (2020) Direct dating reveals the early history of opium poppy in western Europe. Scientific Reports, 10. p. 20263.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/79332/

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This paper aims to define the first chrono-cultural framework on the domestication and early diffusion of the opium poppy using small-sized botanical remains from archaeological sites, opening the way to directly date minute short-lived botanical samples. We produced the initial set of radiocarbon dates directly from the opium poppy remains of eleven Neolithic sites (5900–3500 cal BCE) in the central and western Mediterranean, northwestern temperate Europe, and the western Alps. When possible, we also dated the macrobotanical remains originating from the same sediment sample. In total, 22 samples were taken into account, including 12 dates directly obtained from opium poppy remains. The radiocarbon chronology ranges from 5622 to 4050 cal BCE. The results show that opium poppy is present from at least the middle of the sixth millennium in the Mediterranean, where it possibly grew naturally and was cultivated by pioneer Neolithic communities. Its dispersal outside of its native area was early, being found west of the Rhine in 5300–5200 cal BCE. It was introduced to the western Alps around 5000–4800 cal BCE, becoming widespread from the second half of the fifth millennium. This research evidences different rhythms in the introduction of opium poppy in western Europe.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Archäobotanik (Antolin)
UniBasel Contributors:Antolin, Ferran
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Springer nature
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:23 Nov 2020 09:13
Deposited On:23 Nov 2020 09:12

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