|By Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA - Barley (Hordeum vulgare), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25486048|
For example, did you know that Hordeum vulgare counts as a marginal halophyte due to its ability to tolerate up to 5 g/litre of salt in water, compared with the 1-3 g/litre tolerance of other cereal and legume crops? That's why it is so widely planted on irrigated land, and, in particular, on the alluvium of southern Iraq ("Sumer and Akkad.") That fact might have slipped into an earlier post in this series, and appears in J. G. Manning's intellectual armature, as of The Open Sea, a monograph already noted here, although one that I took some time to get my brain around due to a certain lack of patience for wheels spinning. It's also something that I learned at 53, thanks to following links on Wikipedia, once again underlining the sheer intellectual dilettance of agrarian history.
Admittedly, technical dilettance is an occupational hazard for the historian in general. Take, for example, a blog post based on three monographs that pretends to develop the state of the art at the end of the Iron Age. Oh, well. Three books isn't much by the standards of comps reading, but I didn't have a fulltime job in those days, either. (We'll pass over the time I was able to spend at work, reading, last week, in silence.)