Beginnings of common vetch cultivation are poorly documented. Domestication could have occurred in various places. Common vetch is recorded by rare seeds in pre-Neolithic and Neolithic sites but firm evidence of cultivation does not seem available before Roman times. The Neolithic site of Claparouse is providing evidence of utilization and probable cultivation as early as some 6000 years ago. Even if this pulse is nowadays only a fodder plant, it was more likely used as human food at that time. We do not know whether it was introduced in western Europe from the Near East or locally domesticated.
Archaeobotany, palaeoagronomy, Neolithic, Vicia sativa L., spread of agriculture, pulse crop, France