weeds of cultivation

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Distinctive species of plants that grow amongst cultivated cereal crops as a result of contamination either through seeds getting into the main crop before sowing, remaining in the ground after the soil has been cultivated, or being introduced to an emergent crop by windaction or animal transportation. The main species are cleavers (Galium aparine), charlock (Sinapis arvensis), members of the thistle family (Cirsia), fat hen (Chenopodium album), poppies (Papaveraceae), hedge mustard (Sisymbrium officinale), and, on acid soils, red shank (Polygonium persicaria) and pale persicara (Polygonum lapathifolium). The presence or absence of these species allows detailed insights to the nature and extent of crop processing and agricultural practices.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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