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Can't find a pulse? Celtic bean (Vicia faba L.) in British prehistory

Treasure, E.R.; Church, M.J.

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E.R. Treasure


Archaeobotanical research on prehistoric crops in Britain has primarily focussed on cereals and the potential importance of alternative crops, such as pulses, has often been overlooked. This paper reviews evidence for Celtic bean (Vicia faba L.) in British prehistory, using a database of archaeobotanical assemblages from 75 sites. Celtic bean is rare in the Neolithic – Early Bronze Age and it only becomes frequent from the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1500 cal BC) onwards, particularly in southern England. Though there is a paucity of evidence at many sites, it is suggested that this reflects a preservation bias and in some areas at least, Celtic bean formed an important element of past agricultural systems.


Treasure, E., & Church, M. (2017). Can't find a pulse? Celtic bean (Vicia faba L.) in British prehistory. Environmental Archaeology, 22(2), 113-127.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 29, 2016
Online Publication Date Mar 31, 2016
Publication Date Apr 3, 2017
Deposit Date Aug 20, 2015
Publicly Available Date Apr 6, 2016
Journal Environmental Archaeology
Print ISSN 1461-4103
Electronic ISSN 1749-6314
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 2
Pages 113-127


Published Journal Article (Advance online version) (1 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
Advance online version © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which<br /> permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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