How seeds shape history


About the research

Have you ever noticed how seeds are omnipresent? You find them in our daily bread, they are used in medicines, cosmetics, and even jewelry. This has always been the case, throughout the history of mankind. Archaeobotanist Sidonie Preiss (Royal Belgian Museum of Natural Sciences) dives into archaeological wells, granaries, and even latrines to recover seeds and reconstruct the shared history of plants and mankind.

Sidonie Preiss

As a child, Sidonie Preiss was already fascinated by botany, archaeology and ethnology. She obtained her Bachelor in Earth and Life History in Grenoble (France) and completed a Master in  Biology of Organisms as ERASMUS student in Göttingen (Germany). During an internship, she discovered Archaeobotany which is the discipline that fused all her interests. She completed her training with a Master in Environmental Archaeology. In 2011 she became PhD in Archaeobotany, after having worked in antic and medieval archaeological sites in Northern France. At the end of 2011 she joined the Archaeosciences Unit based at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences where she currently carries out analyses on seeds and fruits uncovered in archaeological sites in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. Her research focusses mainly on agriculture of past societies, vegetation history, past foodways and environment reconstitutions and the relationship between humans and plants over time.

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