Zaadgrootte als domesticatiekenmerk


  • R.T.J. Cappers
  • Y. Boekema
  • S.A. Mulder


Being one feature of domestication, the increase in seed size is of particular interest in species with edible seeds. Although archaeobotanical research has produced measurements of a variety of cultivars, it has not yet been used to describe the variation in relation to location and period on a large scale. This limited use can be partly attributed to the relatively small subsamples that have been measured so far, owing to the time-consuming procedure. The digital camera, however, offers the possibility of measuring all kinds of variables of large quantities of seeds, including seed surface. This is aimed at measuring complete seeds from large supplies as well as from limited numbers. Measurements of the former group are used to describe the frequency distribution for a particular location and period. Samples containing a limited number of seeds are compared with these seedsize distributions in order to assess their specific use, such as drawing a distinction between human food and animal fodder. Some preliminary results of the seedsize study are presented and discussed for grass pea (Lathyrus sativus) and barley (Hordeum vulgare).