Agricultural resources in the Bronze Age city of Tel Lachish

Marco Nicolì*, Simone Riehl, Lyndelle Webster, Katharina Streit, Felix Höflmayer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we present the results of the plant macrofossil analyses from the site of Tel Lachish, Israel with focus on the botanical assemblage of the Middle and Late Bronze Age layers collected in two different areas of the tell: Area S, a trench on the western edge of the site, whose samples belong to Late Bronze Age deposits, and Area P, the palace area on the top of the mound with samples ranging from the Middle to Late Bronze Age. Systematic sampling of these areas and analysis of the remains have extended our knowledge of the agricultural resources of one of the most influential Late Bronze Age cities in the southern Levant. Multivariate statistics have been applied to gain insight into regional patterns of crop growing. Fruit crops account for the majority of the identified remains from this site, which also included large quantities of Hordeum vulgare (barley) and Triticum dicoccum (emmer wheat) grains. The virtual lack of chaff remains is not solely a matter of preservation, since the Late Bronze Age assemblage preserved fragile small seeds. Rather, this finding suggests that cereal processing took place some distance from the area of deposition. Overall high diversity, ubiquity and proportions of fruit crops indicate that these played a fundamental role in their cultivation and probably also in cultural life at Lachish throughout the 15th–12th centuries BCE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-577
Number of pages19
JournalVegetation History and Archaeobotany
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2022. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Ancient agriculture
  • Cereal crops
  • Fruit tree cultivation
  • Shephelah
  • Southern levant


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