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Significance of study of phytoliths in understanding vegetational pattern in an archaeological site of West Bengal, India
Published in -
Volume: 55
Issue: 43528
Pages: 221 - 232
Phytoliths of poaceous origin with diverse shapes and sizes are recovered from C14 dated sedimentary layers of an archaeological site at Pakhanna, district Bankura, West Bengal, India. The data accumulated on phytoliths assigned to subfamilies and genera are utilized to explore human-plant relationship in the contemporary time. Among the phytoliths of panicoid, chloridoid, festucoid types, panicoid type of phytoliths are frequent in the assemblages recorded from sediments of 3320±400-2110±340 years BP (Before Present). Phytoliths similar to that of the leaf phytoliths of modern maize plants occur in highest frequency in the assemblages. Considering the global data, particularly records on the earliest cultivation of Zea mays L. in India not until 1500 AD, the phytoliths of the present collection are tentatively identified cf. Zea sp. till confirmed with the data of cob phytolith. From the data obtained, it appears that the area had a cover of rich vegetation of a tropical humid grassy land. The grassy land was primarily dominated by the panicoid grasses in association with chloridoid and festucoid grasses. The climate and ecology of the area have remained almost unchanged during last ca. 3500 years.
About the journal
JournalPhytomorphology: An International Journal of Plant Morphology