New Aspects Related to Plant Processing Revealed at Çatalhöyük
Among the microscopic remains studied by the researchers are phytoliths, from the deposition of opal silica in plant cells and cell walls, that provide clues about the presence of anatomical parts, such as the stems and husks of plants, including wheat and barley. Use of wild plant resources to diversify the diet, through complex processing. "Microbotanical evidence has contributed to our knowledge about the plants used in the past and helped identify the presence of wild plants and various aspects related to possible strategies to exploit these resources, both to diversify the diet and to replace any calorie deficit that may have arisen in times of scarcity", the researchers assert. Another important aspect revealed by the study is the processing of wild millet seeds, which had never been found among the charred remains of plants on the site. The analysis of use-wear traces on the surfaces of plant processing implements, produced by use in various activities, has allowed the researchers to infer different tasks for which the tools were used. Thanks to these analyses, they have discovered very diverse life histories of these implements and the close relationship with various aspects related to the processing of plant resources and other domestic activities. "By combining microbotanical evidence with use traces, we have discovered processes such as grain husking, the milling of legumes, tubers and cereals, and even the use of these implements in other activities not related to plant processing".