Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt
Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte

Archaeobotany

In the 1517 fire in Naumburg, a grain store was carbonised in the Topfmarkt.
Finds of grain from early modern Naumburg for the most part consist of grains of rye.
A latrine excavated in Naumburg yielded mineralised grape-seeds (early 16th century), evidence of the viticulture practised for over 1000 years in the Saale-Unstrut area.

The discipline of archaeobotany is the investigation of plant remains that are found both in archaeological excavations and in naturally occurring lakebeds and bogs, with the aim of researching the history of flora, vegetation patterns and agriculture. The plant remains include, for example, pollen grains, carbonised or uncarbonised seeds and fruits, or carbonised or uncarbonised fragments of wood. In sediments that are or have been dried out, only carbonised or mineralised plant remains survive. In sediments that have been permanently moist, like wells or latrines, or in a milieu rich in heavy metals, evidence of plants may survive both as carbonised and uncarbonised remains.

Plants have always been an important basis of human nutrition. Since the start of the neolithic period, humans have grown and harvested plants and prepared them for food. The remains of plants that were produced in this way were disposed of in the ground with the rest of the settlement's refuse. For that reason, in the layers of archaeological finds there are remains of domesticated plants, wild plants acquired by gathering, agricultural weeds, ruderal plant species and other types of growths. These finds of plants make it possible to draw conclusions about the climatic and environmental conditions and about the plants that were used and grown in the past.