Dr Mary Anne Murray is busy at UCL Qatar processing botanical samples taken during the excavation season to search for evidence of diet, agriculture, imported foods and other uses of organic material in Old Doha. To do this, she is using a flotation machine to separate the plants from soil samples collected from the excavations. After processing the samples through her three barreled flotation machine which also recycles the water, she will sort and examine the samples under a microscope. The analysis of plant remains allows the project to better understand important evidence that is not always immediately visible during excavation.
Initial results of the botanical study have already yielded dietary evidence, such as wheat, barley, date, grape and melon, as well as the presence of possible medicinal plants (i.e. Cordia myxa – Egyptian plum).