Rainfall and agriculture in Northern Mesopotamia: by R. M. Jas, Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten,

By R. M. Jas, Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, Nederlands Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut te İstanbul, Middle Eastern Studies Programme

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F. 1997 Sweyhat and Hajji Ibrahim: Some Archaeobotanical Samples from the 1991 and 1993 Seasons, 95-122 in R. L. Zettler, Subsistence and Settlement in a Marginal Environment: Tell es-Sweyhat, 1989-1995, Preliminary Report. MASCA Research Papers in Science and Archaeology 14. Miller, N. F. and T. L. Smart 1984 Intentional Burning of Dung as Fuel: A Mechanism for the Incorporation of Charred Seeds into the Archeological Record, Journal of Ethnobiology 4, 15-28. 62 S. J. CAPPERS Mouterde, P. NouvellefZore du Liban et de la Syrie.

As plant remains often become mixed up in an archaeological context, it is often difficult to correlate weed species with a particular crop species. As far as species indicative of irrigation are considered, it has to be realised that irrigation might have been limited to the valleys proper, as was and still is the case in for example the upper part of the Balikh Valley. Rainfall enables dry farming, but would only have been sufficient for the cultivation of more drought resistant crops such as barley.

Onager and gazelle were the main hunted species. Both are typical steppe animals. Today onagers, like other wild equids, live in open, flat and rather dry areas. They can withstand drought and high temperatures. In Iran kulans can tolerate daytime temperatures up to 58' (Groves 1974). Although they usually drink daily, they can survive without water for at least two to three days (Heptner et al. 1966). , Poa sp. and Stipa sp. (Heptner et al. 1966:849; Groves 1974:102). ). Gazelles have a similar habitat.

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