Pollen grains, belonging to basil and approximately 1500 years old, have been recovered in Japan. The pollen was recovered from an important context--- possibly the ruins of Queen Himiko's home, although the exact location continues to be debated. The pollen recovered in Japan resembles closely to a species native to Southeast Asia (other basil species are native to India).
In my last post (and also the first one), I posted a link to Archaeology Magazine's favorite discoveries for 2012. In today's entry, I decided to upload some of my favorite stories, which include discoveries on ancient plants, hominin diets, Bronze Age trading and brewing, royal gardens, and of course, the new finds at the archaeological sites of La Corona and El Perú-Waka’. Enjoy!
-Grape seeds recovered from 1st century A.D. context are being DNA sequenced in order to understand the history of the Chianti vineyards.
-Very exciting find at the site of El Perú-Waka’, where a royal tomb of a queen was uncovered this past season.
-Bronze Age microbrewery uncovered in Cyprus. A kiln along with associated tools, and carbonized seeds give a glimpse into early beer making.
-By 3.5 million years ago, three members of the genus Australopithecus developed a taste for grass and sedges. Read on for a new view into early hominin diets.
-Orchids appear earlier than previously thought in Roman art, and fade as Christianity arrives.
-More evidence that the Vikings visited the New World earlier than Columbus! Click the link for more information on excavations at a site in Canada.
-A piece of cloth, found in Denmark’s richest burial, and made from nettle, suggests long-distance Bronze Age trading.
-One of the many mysteries of Easter Island has been uncovered! Watch this amazing video.
-Timely discovery of the second known reference to the so-called "end date" of the Maya calendar, found at the site of La Corona. And no, the world didn’t end!
-Fossilized pollen has revealed that local and exotic plants blossomed in Ramat Rahel's royal garden.
-Residue analysis from ceramic beakers from Cahokia have found evidence of Black Drink, a highly caffeinated drink known to have been consumed by Native Americans, brewed from the Ilex vomitoria shrub.
Follow the latest discoveries from the world of archaeology, plants, and people.