Recovery of an Early Evidence of Castor Plant, Ricinus Communis L. from the Central Sudan and its Positioning within a World-wide Context

Anwar A-Magid


Evidence of castor plant R. communis, L. is recovered from the Early Holocene archaeological site of Kabbashi Haitah in the Central Sudan and dated to c. 7700 - 7200 bp. This evidence represents the earliest botanical evidence recovered –so far- from the Central Sudan and elsewhere in Eastern Tropical Africa and the World. No evidence is found in the material culture remains which might indicate the likelihood of its being imported. Most of the ancient and traditional utilizations of castor plant are strikingly similar despite their being practised at different times in different and far apart regions in the World. This modest contribution stands to show that the wide spread and utilizations of castor plant strongly accentuate its significant and indispensable role since ancient times. It also reflects that inedible plants, as seen in the case of castor plant, were (and still are) not less important than food plant, hence stresses the need for attending to their study in a fashion equal to that of studying foodplants since prehistoric and early historic times.



Castor-plant, plant-impressions, Central-Sudan, Food-plants, Inedible plants.

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