Three-dimensional X-ray-computed tomography of 3300- to 6000-year-old Citrullus seeds from Libya and Egypt compared to extant seeds throws doubts on species assignments

Autor(en)
Katherine A. Wolcott, Guillaume Chomicki, Yannick M. Staedler, Krystyna Wasylikowa, Mark Nesbitt, Jürg Schönenberger, Susanne S. Renner
Abstrakt

Societal Impact Statement The watermelon (Citrullus lanatus subsp. vulgaris) is among the world's most important fruit crops. We here use C-14 dating and morphometric analysis to test whether ancient seeds can be identified to species level, which would help document food expansion, innovation, and diversity in Northeastern Africa. We dated a Libyan seed to 6182?6001 calibrated years BP, making it the oldest Citrullus seed known. Morphometric analysis could not reliably assign ancient seeds to particular species, but several seeds showed breakage patterns characteristic of modern watermelon seeds cracked by human teeth. Our study contributes to the understanding of the early history of watermelon use by humans, who may have mostly snacked on the seeds, and cautions against the use of morphology alone to identify Citrullus archaeological samples.

Organisation(en)
Department für Botanik und Biodiversitätsforschung
Externe Organisation(en)
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, University of Sheffield, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Journal
Plants, People, Planet
Seiten
1-9
Anzahl der Seiten
9
ISSN
2572-2611
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1002/ppp3.10220
Publikationsdatum
2021
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
106042 Systematische Botanik, 106008 Botanik, 106012 Evolutionsforschung
Schlagwörter
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/threedimensional-xraycomputed-tomography-of-3300-to-6000yearold-citrullus-seeds-from-libya-and-egypt-compared-to-extant-seeds-throws-doubts-on-species-assignments(c2898a56-415f-462b-b812-e919329aa525).html