A barley store of the bar-kochba rebels (Roman period)

M. E. Kislev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A heap of charred two-rowed barley (Hordeum distichon) was recovered at Nahal-Yattir, Israel, dated to 135 A.D., that included small amounts of naked wheat (Triticum parvicoccum), emmer (T. dicoccon), lentil (Lem culinaris), bitter wetch (Vicia ervilia) and more than 30 species of weeds. Short descriptions of the weed remnants and their occurrence in other Near Eastern sites are presented. Most of the plants are new records for ancient flora in Israel, and some are new in the archaeobotanical literature. Analysis of the distribution area of the weeds enabled an identification of the region in which the barley had been grown. They also provide evidence for low harvest or uprooting. The high fraction of puckered barley kernels suggests that the plants grew under drought conditions or were harvested too early. A few kernels, which had only suffered slight fire damage, exhibit well formed starch grains and protein globules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-196
Number of pages14
JournalIsrael Journal of Botany
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1986


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