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date: 23 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the application of archaeobotany to the later medieval period in Britain with reference to selected sites. The strengths and weaknesses of methods and evidence are explained. The most common plants remains are cereals but fruit and nuts are also found in abundance, some being imported species. Vegetables and herbs are generally poorly preserved. Some of the richest assemblages come from wet deposits in ports and may include exotics or from towns where possible thatch and industrial remains are known. Elite sites such as castles, manors, and monasteries sometimes also have abundant plant remains but the evidence from lower-status rural sites can be absent or difficult to recognize. Key concerns for the future include the limited scope of many commercial archaeological investigations, the need to exploit the archaeobotanical evidence more fully other than as a source of information about diet, and the importance of collaborative work between archaeobotanists and historians.

Keywords: archaeobotany, plant remains, research agenda, cereals, fruits, nuts, ports, elite sites

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