Date Pit Culture

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The Date Pit Culture, also called the Dateseed Oil Culture, hereafter the DPC, was a late Neolithic pre-Adzamic material culture in central Tabiqa from approximately BCE 3000-2000. It is known from a large archaeological record as well as through oral history of Adzamasiin people in post-DPC regions. Little is known of the DPC's language, which only survives as a handful of areal loanwords.

The DPC was replaced by incoming Adzamic peoples in the 2000s CE. Evidence indicates that the transition was mostly peaceful; the DPC seemed to have already been in decline, and vast amounts of intermarriage with the arriving Adzamics saw the DPC largely absorbed into the latter population.


The Date Pit Culture was a nomadic group of hunter-gatherers that relied extensively on the lower Ekuos river and oases spotted throughout the Ekuosian desert. They were probably organized in small family groups or clans of 10-30 people which spent most of the year separated, and gathered together at several different sites during the rainy season to trade goods, marry, and renew ties.

As gatherers the DPC showed a great understanding of the edible plants in their environment. Archaeological finds indicate that they made use of nearly sixty plant species, including: thyme, blue agave, desert fig, bush caper, bush banana, bush tomato, bush potato, pencil yam, pearl millet, Laperrine olive, doum palm (gingerbread tree), and most importantly, the date palm. They also gathered bird eggs, witchetty grubs, locusts, and other invertebrates and hunted various antelopes, camels, equines, and smaller animals including jackrabbits and lizards.


DPC had very little agriculture, no metallurgy, and one domesticated animal: the dromedary.

The DPC is considered the final stage of a string of several cultures that had a dependence on the date palm tree in the Ekuosian desert region who are, together, credited with the creation of early non-wild cultivars of the date palm. As with their predecessors, DPC people made extensive use of the leaves, wood, roots, and fruit of the tree for cord and basketry, fire, weaponry, tools, and food. The marked difference with the DPC was the innovation of a technology that allowed the extraction of oil from the date pit through distillation in hot water. The DPC also roasted date seeds to create a coffee-like beverage.

Like its predecessors, the DPC helped spread the date palm through the most arid regions of the eastern Ekuosian desert, and along the banks of the lower Ekuos and Tabiq rivers.