Recently, Pascal Flohr from the Reading Archaeology Department visited the Rif Mountains in Morocco to attend a workshop on ‘traditional’ farming societies. Researchers based on Morocco and in the UK discussed ways to study farming in the past (in archaeology) and present. Early farming societies are an important focus of the research and teaching in Reading, like the first farmers in the Middle East.
Image 1: While the workshop also consisted of lectures, an important part was learning in the field. Here, workshop attendants are collecting weeds from the edge of a crop field. Weed seeds are often found in archaeological excavations and can tell us about the way people were farming. For example, certain weeds are associated with manured crops, which means that the farmer was making an effort to improve his fields.
Image 2: Who needs powerpoint? Professor Hodgson (Sheffield) explains different weed categories and what they can tell us.
Image 3: The reason the workshop took place in the Rif Mountains in Morocco is that relatively traditional, small-scale ways of farming are still in use here.