Institute for Balkan Studies
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Crops and Wild Plants from Early Iron Age Kalakača, Northern Serbia: Comparing Old and New Archaeobotanical Data
Abstract: The “old” archaeobotanical analysis of charred plant remains hand-picked in the 1970’s from several pit-features at Early Iron Age Kalakača in Vojvodina, northern Serbia was conducted by Willem van Zeist and published by Predrag Medović. This work provided first information on the archaeobotany of the site and the plant material deposited in the semi- or fully-subterranean structures whose function has remained more-or-less enigmatic. These features were in the past filled with a mass of fragments of, primarily, large ceramic vessels, chunks of (burnt) daub, large quantities of animal bone, and burnt plant matter. The “new” archaeobotanical work at Kalakača included sampling and flotation in the field, and subsequent analysis of a fraction of the samples. The paper explores the composition of the two datasets from Kalakača, separately and combined; it identifies the spectra of crop and wild plants and discusses the quantitative representation of the crops. The paper concludes by broadly comparing the integrated crop record from this site with the crop datasets from few other Early Iron Age sites in Serbia in order to get a preliminary picture on the choice of cultivated crops and possible preferences for certain crop types.
Keywords: Early Iron Age, southern Pannonian Plain, Kalakača, Serbia, plant remains