The Archaeology of Garlic (Allium Sativum)
The Find at Akrotiri, Thera, Greece
Keywords:garlic, Allium sativum, onion, Allium cepa, Akrotiri, Thera, Aegean, prehistory
Recent finds of garlic from Late Bronze Age Akrotiri, Thera have led to research related to the historical, economic and social aspects of its use in the archaeological narrative. Garlic is an important domesticated plant in our lore, medicine, mythology, cooking, and ethnography, and is now ubiquitous in everyday use. Previously, we knew of its importance in historical periods, especially since Roman times, when its use extended to all of Europe and beyond. Archaeobotanical investigations have extended the prehistoric and historical knowledge of this crop, providing some evidence as to how it was regarded, what were its possible uses and its changing status, diachronically. Here, therefore, it is an attempt to provide an overview of the related archaeological finds and, briefly, its references in ancient texts.
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