The main objectives and deliverables of this WP are:

  • To assess the potential of isotopic studies in C4 modern plants.

  • To establish the relationship between water availability, isotopic signals and phytoliths ratio.

  • To assess inter- and intra-sample variability in isotopic signals and phytolith production.

​Data to be collected:

  • Carbon isotopic discrimination values (∆) and isotopic ratio (∂13C) of grains;

  • phytolith production (concentration gram/dry plant material) and ratios between environmentally and genetically controlled forms;

  • values of ∂18O and ∂30Si in phytoliths.​


The main objectives and deliverables of WP4 are:

  • To statistically assess the experimental and ethnographic data.

  • To create model(s) to correctly classify water management practice in archaeobotanical samples.


The main objective and deliverable for WP5 is:

  • Application of the novel methodology to archaeobotanical assemblages to establish past water management and land use practices at three biophysical hotspots in Asia and Africa.

Ethnography and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)
  • The main objectives and deliverables of WP3 are:

  • To contrast and validate the experimental data in ‘real life’ settings where conditions are only partially controlled.

  • To acquire data on agricultural dynamics and human behaviour to be used for the construction of models water management and landuse practices.

  • To document well-established agricultural practices and techniques in danger of disappearing.

  • To collect wood specimens along a rainfall gradient in the three study area and provide a rainfall ∂13C signal.

  • To assess the relation between fresh and charred ∂13C signal.

  • To provide a reference curve for the palaeorainfall isotopic signal to be used as baseline for comparing rainfall availability for past crops.​​

The project is structured in six closely inter-related work packages (figure 1). Aside from the general management and dissemination, the project comprises three analytical and one modelling workpackages.

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