Awarded by the Society for Archaeological Sciences
The paper by Sergio Taranto and colleagues “Investigating the function of late-Neolithic ‘husking trays’ from Syrian Jazira through integrated use-alteration and phytolith analyses”, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports has been awarded the Charles C. Kolb Award 2022 by the Society for Archaeological Sciences (SAS).
This paper sheds new light on Neolithic food processing and culinary practices in the Near East. The focus is on the still little investigated ceramic vessels called husking trays, that were used by Late Neolithic communities from the second half of the 7th millennium to the first centuries of the 6th millennium. This study advocates for an interdisciplinary approach, involving the integration of use-alteration, phytolith evidence and experimental work, pointing to the processing of cereals such as hulled barley and wheat, flour-based ground products possibly linked to bread preparation. This culinary practice would be part of a broader framework of use of cereals for the preparation of bread-like products that would characterize the prehistoric Near East even before domestication.
The paper is part of the special issue “Plants meet artefacts: developing interdisciplinary approaches for the identification of plant gathering, processing and use in the archaeological record”, edited by Amaia Arranz-Otaegui, Miriam Cubas, Juan José Ibáñez and Dani Rosenberg.
The SAS offers one award every year for the best published paper on science-based archaeological research in ceramics in honor of Charles C. Kolb. The purpose of the award is to promote and acknowledge research excellence in the field of archaeological ceramics.
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