The Potentiality of Phytoliths in the Study of Roman Spices: An Investigation into the Nature of Phytoliths in Piper nigrum and Piper longum.

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dc.contributor.advisor Christensen, Joel
dc.contributor.author McDuff, Evan
dc.date.accessioned 2019-02-20T15:46:43Z
dc.date.available 2019-02-20T15:46:43Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10192/36559
dc.description.abstract Written sources tell us the pepper species of Piper nigrum and Piper longum played a significant role in ancient Roman cuisine, however, physical evidence of their culinary use in the form of macrobotanical remains is rare. Phytoliths, due to their possible taxonomic significance and survivability, could be used to understand Roman culinary applications of pepper in contexts where the preservation of macrobotanical remains is poor. To gauge their usefulness in the study of pepper, phytoliths were isolated from modern botanical samples of white pepper (Piper nigrum), black pepper (Piper nigrum), and long pepper (Piper longum). Phytoliths were found to be absent in samples of white pepper, but keystone morphologies of the oblong psilate and polyhedral irregulate types were found in long and black pepper respectively. These keystone morphologies indicate that phytoliths could possibly be used to identify these forms of pepper in certain Roman archaeological contexts. In addition to morphological research an experiment was undertaken that found that ground forms of all varieties of pepper and all preparations of long pepper were susceptible to mold in a climate of varying temperature and humidity.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Evan McDuff 2019
dc.subject Phytoliths
dc.subject paleoethnobotany
dc.subject archaeology
dc.subject Piper nigrum
dc.subject Piper longum
dc.subject Roman
dc.subject pepper
dc.title The Potentiality of Phytoliths in the Study of Roman Spices: An Investigation into the Nature of Phytoliths in Piper nigrum and Piper longum.
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Graduate Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies
dc.degree.name MA
dc.degree.level Masters
dc.degree.discipline Ancient Greek and Roman Studies
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


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