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Veteran trees in an historic landscape: The Bidnija olive grove, Malta

Lageard, JGA, Sultana, D and Brearley, FQ (2021) Veteran trees in an historic landscape: The Bidnija olive grove, Malta. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 38. ISSN 2352-409X

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File will be available on: 23 June 2023.

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Abstract

The ages of veteran olive trees forming a grove located in the north of the island of Malta were investigated using radiocarbon dating. This approach revealed that trees from the Bidnija grove were established during the mid-late Medieval period, before CE 1450–1669, rather than in considerably earlier Roman times when the surrounding agrarian landscape was thought to be an important production area for olives. This dating exercise highlights not only the potential for inter-disciplinary research, but also the need for caution when seeking to establish links between living veteran trees, archaeological evidence in the landscape and sedimentary records containing vegetation history

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