An archaeobotanical and biomolecular research has been carried out on wild cereals found at Takarkori, a rockshelter located in the Tadrart Acacus massif (central Sahara, SW Libya), UNESCO area since 1985 (e.g., di Lernia and Zampetti 2008). The site has been excavated by the Italian-Libyan Archaeological Mission (Sapienza University of Rome) from 2003 to 2006. Chronology ranges from c. 10,200 to c. 4600 cal BP. Besides the archaeological evidence, the particular depositional setting reveals a remarkable state of preservation of the organic material (Biagetti and di Lernia 2013). In this context, dried macroremains of wild cereals have been investigated by the classical archaeobotanical approach complemented with ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis, in order to investigate the plant resources which were available for huntergatherer first and then pastoral groups who occupied the site. ... The analyses confirm that Early and Middle Holocene biomolecules of Saharan wild cereals have survived until today. The set of data obtained from this research allowed a better understanding of both the palaeo-environmental context, made by climate and human actions, and the past human behaviour in exploiting wild cereals. These wild cereals were adapted to the changing environments and their presence changed during the different cultural and environmental phases at Takarkori. The archaeobotanical study, including systematic analyses of the plant accumulations, distribution and contexts, allowed to observe the gathering and cultivation of wild cereals in central Sahara (Mercuri et al. 2018).
Archaeobotany and ancient biomolecules from the Early and Middle Holocene wild cereals in central Sahara / Fornaciari, Rita; Mercuri, Anna Maria; Arru, Laura; di Lernia, Savino. - (2018), pp. 203-206. (Intervento presentato al convegno 14th Conference of Environmental Archaeology tenutosi a Modena nel 26-28 Febbraio 2018).