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date: 06 December 2022

agriculture, Greeklocked

agriculture, Greeklocked

  • Michael H. Jameson

Extract

The agriculture of Greece in the historical period shared the basic cultigens and techniques of most of the other contemporary civilizations of the Mediterranean. Life was sustained by barley and wheat, sown mostly in the autumn as field crops dependent on rainfall between autumn and spring. Hulled barley (two- and six-row) and hulled wheat (emmer and einkorn), introduced to the Aegean from the near east in the neolithic period, remained important crops. Naked wheats, especially tetraploid, durum wheat, evolved in the first millennium bce, but hexaploid bread wheat, better in colder climates, was imported from the north shores of the Black Sea. Cultivation with a simple wooden plough (ard), sometimes tipped with iron, to break up the surface of the soil for receiving seeds in autumn, is treated as normal by ancient sources but recently doubts have arisen as to whether smallholders could produce enough to feed a pair of plough-oxen in addition to their own households. For them hand cultivation by spade and hoe must have been common (see agricultural implements).

Subjects

  • Greek Myth and Religion

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