Social and economic role of crop production

Understanding the role of crops in ancient diets — animal as well as human — is fundamental for reconstructing the sociality and ecology of farming. It also has particular relevance to discussion of urbanisation and its effects on human nutrition and health. In the AGRICURB project we are taking opportunities to use crop stable carbon and nitrogen data measurements (in cereal grains and pulse seeds) across the various sites and regions to refine understanding of diet in human and livestock populations. At some sites human bones and/or teeth are available for stable isotope analysis alongside fauna and botanical remains. On this basis we can take an integrated approach to ancient food webs, and add a dietary dimension to our reconstruction of ancient agroecology.