Carbon stable isotope analysis of cereal remains as a way to reconstruct water availability: Preliminary results

This source preferred by Emma Jenkins

Authors: Flohr, P., Muldner, G. and Jenkins, E.L.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/18538/

Journal: Water History

ISSN: 1877-7236

DOI: 10.1007/s12685-011-0036-5

Reconstructing past water availability, both as rainfall and irrigation, is important to answer questions about the way society reacts to climate and its changes and the role of irrigation in the development of social complexity. Carbon stable isotope analysis of archaeobotanical remains is a potentially valuable method for reconstructing water availability. To further define the relationship between water availability and plant carbon isotope composition and to set up baseline values for the Southern Levant, grains of experimentally grown barley and sorghum were studied. The cereal crops were grown at three stations under five different irrigation regimes in Jordan. Results indicate that a positive but weak relationship exists between irrigation regime and total water input of barley grains, but no relationship was found for sorghum. The relationship for barley is site-specific and inter-annual variation was present at Deir ‘Alla, but not at Ramtha and Khirbet as-Samra.

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Authors: Flohr, P., Müldner, G. and Jenkins, E.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/18538/

Journal: Water History

Volume: 3

Issue: 2

Pages: 121-144

eISSN: 1877-7244

ISSN: 1877-7236

DOI: 10.1007/s12685-011-0036-5

Reconstructing past water availability, both as rainfall and irrigation, is important to answer questions about the way society reacts to climate and its changes and the role of irrigation in the development of social complexity. Carbon stable isotope analysis of archaeobotanical remains is a potentially valuable method for reconstructing water availability. To further define the relationship between water availability and plant carbon isotope composition and to set up baseline values for the Southern Levant, grains of experimentally grown barley and sorghum were studied. The cereal crops were grown at three stations under five different irrigation regimes in Jordan. Results indicate that a positive but weak relationship exists between irrigation regime and total water input of barley grains, but no relationship was found for sorghum. The relationship for barley is site-specific and inter-annual variation was present at Deir 'Alla, but not at Ramtha and Khirbet as-Samra. © 2011 Springer Science + Business Media B.V.

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