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Ian Straughn

Islamic Archaeology

Archaeology and Religion

Islamic Landscapes

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

Posted at Mar 17/2007 05:32PM:
Elly: Date palms were an essential crop for much of Arabia. The fruit is very nutritious and has a high caloric value, and can easily be transported thanks to their small size and the ability to dry them. Date palms require a relatively constant supply of water, and so are more common at oases where they will get little rainfall but can use the groundwater that is present. In many oasis settlements there was mono-cropping of date palms (for example at Khaybar). This was rather risky, as droughts or diseases could wipe out entire crops, and establishing new crops was very labor intensive. Dates were traded with pastoral nomads, and so are an example of the important trade relations between sedentary and nomadic groups in Arabia.