After Christopher Columbus opened up sea routes between the Old Word and the New, the world’s food supply was transformed, with major crops moving between continents. Several millennia earlier, an equally radical transformation opened up land routes across the Old World, and major crops moved between eastern and western Eurasia. However, this earlier episode of food globalization has only recently come to light, thanks to novel possibilities of scientific archaeology.
In this seminar talk, the results of those novel methods, and the various crop movements of the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC are explained. Professor Jones will go on to consider some key questions about those movements: first of all, how they happened and what were the corresponding movements of people; secondly, what were consequences of those movements, for the different societies emerging in different regions of the Old World.
About the Speaker:
Professor Martin Jones is the first George Pitt-Rivers Professor of archaeological Science at the University of Cambridge, Vice-Master of Darwin College, Cambridge, and Chairman of Trustees at the Needham Research Institute and a world renowned archaeologist. For forty years he has published reports of his archaeobotanical research, into the nature and development of agriculture in different parts of the world. In the 1990s, his work expanded from archaeobotany to embrace the novel field of archaeogenetics, subsequently engaging with stable isotope palaeodietary studies. His research group has played a lead role in combining these three methodological strands to investigate the human food quest in the past, and address its implications for present and future foodways.