Mark Beech * Will Higgs * Phil Iddison

palms The date Palm, Phoenix dactylifera, has been an important resource in North Africa and the Arabian Gulf region for thousands of years. Date stones are often found during archaeological excavations in this region, but the excavation at Dalma Island in the United Arab Emirates proved to be of exceptional interest because charred date stones found there were radiocarbon dated to around 7000 BP (Beech & Shepherd, 2001). These are the oldest recorded remains of dates yet found and may be important in the study of the earliest cultivars.

measurement Dr Mark Beech is involved in further work with the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey and is comparing archaeological date stones with a comprehensive collection of modern varieties assembled by Phil Iddison. The database of date stone measurements so far assembled has been subjected to preliminary statistical analysis. To find out more details concerning this work you may read a copy of a paper which was published in the Proceedings of the International Date Palm Forum, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. - 15-17 September 2002 - by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research:

Beech, M. 2003. Archaeobotanical Evidence for Early Date Consumption in the Arabian Gulf. Pages 11-31. In: ECSSR (ed), The Date Palm - From Traditional Resource to Green Wealth. Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, Abu Dhabi. Paperback edition ISBN 9948-00-550-3.
[ you can read an on-line version by clicking here - read a summary of the contents of the book in english or in arabic, or if you wish to purchase the entire book click here ]

We are keen to add further measurements to this database and any information about COLLECTIONS OF RECENT OR ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATE STONES would be gratefully received.

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