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2021, vol. 58, iss. 1, pp. 14-22
Archaeoentomological assessment of weevil (Coleoptera, Bruchidae) infestation level of pea (Pisum sativum) at the Late Bronze Age settlement Hissar
aThe Museum of Vojvodina, Department of Archaeology, Novi Sad
Keywords: Bruchus pisorum L.; Hissar; infestation; Late Bronze Age; mass find; pea; Pea weevil
A find of 2572 charred seeds of pea (Pisum sativum L.) was detected at the Late Bronze Age tell settlement Hissar near Leskovac, in Serbia, belonging to the Brnjica cultural group, 14-10 cent. BC. Two types of pea seeds were observed: apparently healthy seeds and seeds damaged by the activity of a weevil (Coleoptera, Bruchidae). At least two-fifths of all finds have apparently been infested most probably by pea weevil (Bruchus pisorum L.), one of the most important pea pests worldwide, especially in medium-moist and dry climates, such as Southern Europe and Australia. A large amount of infested pea seeds indicates a developed pea production on small plots, strongly indicating that cultivating this ancient pulse crop must have been well-rooted in field conditions. Previous DNA analyses of charred pea placed the ancient Hissar pea at an intermediate position between extantly cultivated pea (P. sativum L. subsp. sativum var. sativum) and a wild, winter hardy, 'tall' pea (P. sativum subsp. elatius (Steven ex M. Bieb.) Asch. et Graebn.). Based on an assumption of its late harvest time and combined with pea weevil life cycle stage in charred seeds, it was possible to estimate the season during which the seeds were carbonized, namely, the second half of July or the first days of August at the latest. Older, final weevil instars were predominant before seed carbonization. The pea infestation rate at Hissar is one of the highest noted among pulses in the Old World and the highest among peas, so far.
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article language: English
document type: Original Scientific Paper
DOI: 10.5937/ratpov58-31204
received: 08/03/2021
accepted: 17/04/2021
published in SCIndeks: 29/04/2021
peer review method: double-blind
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