Provence weed functional ecology survey and isotope sampling concluded

A twelve-person AGRICURB team completed a trip to the south of France in early July 2013 to conduct a weed survey and take crop samples for isotopic analysis. The team, led by Amy Bogaard, visited nearly 60 fields of organically-grown einkorn, barley, wheat and lentils in the region of Vaucluse and the Lubéron National Park. In cooperation with local farmers, the team documented the traditional agricultural methods being used and surveyed the weed species found along a transect within each field. Species were identified by John Hodgson and Glynis Jones, assisted by Charlotte Diffey, Laura Green and Hyunyoung Kim, and specimens were collected to make functional attribute measurements back in the UK. This will allow the team to link the crop growing conditions of fields in Provence to the types of weed present, ultimately allowing us to recognize very extensively maintained growing conditions based on the functional characteristics of weeds that are identified in the archaeological record. At the same time, Amy Styring and Erika Nitsch took samples of crops, hedgerow plants and water for carbon, nitrogen and strontium isotope analysis in order to understand how within-field variability might affect interpretations of isotopic measurements of archaeobotanical crops. The mapping and spatial design of the entire survey was coordinated by John Pouncett.