We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Professor Mike Church

Bishop, R R, Church, M J & Rowley-Conwy, P A (2009). Cereals, fruits and nuts in the Scottish Neolithic. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 139: 47-103.

Author(s) from Durham


The importance of wild and domestic plants within British Neolithic economies has been much disputed but the contribution of the Scottish archaeobotanical evidence to this issue has previously been understated. This paper assesses the use of plants in the Scottish Neolithic economy using the archaeobotanical evidence from 75 sites. It is argued that plant exploitation was geographically and socially diverse in Neolithic Scotland; while domestic plants became the mainstay of the economy for some social groups, wild plant exploitation remained an important part of the subsistence strategies of other groups. In this context, geographic, social and temporal differences in the importance of wheat and barley are also discussed.