In northern China, a few charred broomcorn millet grains have been directly dated from one Early Neolithic site, Xinglonggou in Inner Mongolia, producing a single date of 7670-7610 cal BP (Zhao 2011).
The main aim of the work presented in this paper is to establish whether direct dating of broomcorn millet supports the presence of this crop in Europe before 5000 BC.
The small size of broomcorn millet grains has, until recently, precluded the possibility of direct radiocarbon ([sup.
At Begash, carbonised seeds of broomcorn millet and wheat were recovered through systematic flotation of soils from a cremation burial cist and from an associated funerary fire-pit.
Eight flotation samples were taken from phase 1 a contexts, and five of these contained domesticated grains, resulting in a total of five classified as wheat or Cerealia (see below) and 28 classified as broomcorn millet grains (Tables 2 & 3).
Carbonised remains of broomcorn millet exist throughout the 4000 year chronology of habitation at Begash (Table 2), whereas foxtail millet is recovered only in samples dating to the first millennium BC and later.
These were identified elsewhere as more like ji, defined as sticky broomcorn millet by the author (Li 1984).
The original excavation at Dadiwan, led by Lang Shude, reported eight carbonised grains of broomcorn from the bottom of a midden pit (H398) dated to the pre-Yangshao period (Dadiwan I layer) (Liu et al.
Foxtail and broomcorn millet, and rice, all domesticated in China, were of some significance there by 7000-6000 cal.
Rice, foxtail and broomcorn millet are present in north-eastern Japan by 900 cal.
Rice [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 4 OMITTED], foxtail millet and broomcorn millet total 15 grains (TABLE 2).
Broomcorn and foxtail millet were previously unknown in the Tohoku Late Jomon (Crawford & Takamiya 1990).