About five years ago, archaeologist Nicholas Conard and archaeobotanist Simone Riehl of the University of Tübingen in Germany hooked up with researchers at the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research (ICAR) in Tehran, and particularly Mohsen Zeidi, an experienced ICAR excavator, to begin work at the early farming village of Chogha Golan, in the foothills of the Zagros Mountains in western Iran. Iranian archaeologists had discovered the village about 15 years earlier, but never fully excavated it. While digging in 2009 and 2010, the team uncovered extensive evidence for the processing of plants in the village, including mortars, pestles, and grinding stones. The dig also yielded a huge quantity—more than 21,000 individual pieces—of charred plant remains, which Riehl analyzed for a report online today in Science.
Story: Michael Balter, ScienceMag | Photo: Simone Riehl et al/University of Tubingen