Earliest direct evidence for broomcorn millet and wheat in the central Eurasian steppe region.
The early chronology of broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum) in Europe.
An absence of broomcorn
millet at nearby farming villages suggests that herders cultivated that crop, and perhaps others, about 600 years before previous evidence of farming in Central Asia.
2000-1000 BC: modelling journeys to the Marianas (Fitzpatrick); Mycenaean influences in Nordic razors (Kaul); an Akhenaten-era cemetery at Amarna (Kemp); dating broomcorn
millet in Europe (Motuzaite-Matuzeviciute);
In their review of records of the millet genera Panicurn and Setaria across Eurasia dating to before 5000 BC, Hunt et al (2008) highlighted the interesting and unusual pattern of the earliest records of broomcorn millet.
Also in relation to the archaeobotany, the validity of the early broomcorn millet chronology in Europe has been recently called into question by Boivin et al.
A parallel may be suggested with the westward movement of broomcorn
millet from China, which appears to have been associated with its ritual value amongst steppe pastoralists (Frachetti et al 2010).
Recent studies in eastern Asia at the site of Cishan in north-eastern China document the cultivation of broomcorn
millet as early as 8000 cal BC between the Loess Plateau and the North China Plain (Crawford 2009; Lu et al.
A summary of pre-5000 BC sites from which broomcorn
and foxtail have been reported, with associated radiocarbon dates, is given in Table 2.
Foxtail and broomcorn
millet, legumes, barley, wheat, and beefsteak plant remains have all been recovered from Early and Middle Mumun houses and hearths near the dry fields.
During the first half of the 2nd millennium, subsistence cultivation on Okinawa was based on a combination of dry-field wheat (Triticum aestivum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), foxtail millet (Setaria italica), broomcorn
millet (Panicum miliaceum) and irrigated rice (Oryza sativa) (Sasaki 1973; Asato 1990).
italica) and broomcorn
millet (Panicum miliaceum) have been identified (TABLE 2).