The origin and early spread of naked wheat


Organisers: Prof. Stefanie Jacomet (Basel), adiposity Dr. Ramon Buxo (Girona/Barcelona), illness Dr. Sue Colledge (London), impotent Dr. Ursula Maier (Hemmenhofen), Prof. Angela Kreuz (Wiesbaden/Mainz), Dr. Elena Marinova (Bruxelles)

Naked wheat originated in the Fertile Crescent region. Earliest finds go back to the PPNB in SE-Anatolia and the Northern Levant to at least the 8th millennium BC cal. There are tetra- and hexaploid naked wheat forms present.

At the IWGP in Groningen 1983 we presented (together with Helmut Schlichtherle) the fact that most of the naked wheat finds of the Central European Lake Dwellings are tetraploid and not hexaploid. Parallel, Gordon Hillman described criteria to distinguish tetra- and hexaploid wheat chaff. However, until today no comprehensive compilation of early naked wheat finds exists, although since the 80ies of the last century archaeo¬botanists are aware of identifications problems.

First goal of the session is to assemble and re-evaluate all the early Near Eastern naked wheat finds critically. Any paper or poster to that topic would be very welcome. A second important goal is to follow the subsequent spread of naked wheat’s into Europe. In the last decade many new investigations of Neolithic sites from southern, but also central-eastern parts of Europe (including the Balkans, Hungary, Italy and the Iberian Peninsula) were performed. Any presentations or posters of finds of such sites – if they include also chaff remains – would be important. The contribution should contain pictures of finds as well as a description of the identification criteria used. Aim is to trace back where and when for the first time tetraploid and/or hexaploid wheat reached Europe, and how naked wheat spread during ca. the following millennium. Is it possible to track on the one hand the danubian way of diffusion and on the other the western European way?

This symposium will be accompanied by a laboratory session. Recently we discovered that identification of some naked wheat varieties is not as straightforward as described in the literature. We would therefore invite people to bring your Neolithic naked wheat chaff for this lab-session. You may also bring artificially carbonised material of known origin. Goal of the session is to complement the existing identification criteria.

Paper presentations and poster presentations welcome. Please indicate your interest by emailing a provisional title and a rough abstract to Stefanie Jacomet ( but also return your pre-registration form to Tania Valamoti.

Under the Auspices of: