Just how hot would Mercia have had to be to grow coconuts?

Historic questions, thoughts and other interesting stuff

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Steven
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:18 pm
Location: Bedford
Contact:

Just how hot would Mercia have had to be to grow coconuts?

Post by Steven »

It was warmer and damper in the 5th Century, you know.
The SK made me do it!

m300572
Post Centurion
Posts: 624
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:11 pm
Location: NW England

Post by m300572 »

Can you elaborate a bit on the reason for the question - as far as I can recall there are no archaeobotanical records of coconuts from Mercia (or indeed any other early medieval contexts).

User avatar
Medicus Matt
Post Knight
Posts: 1470
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:16 pm
Location: Zummerzet
Contact:

Re: Just how hot would Mercia have had to be to grow coconut

Post by Medicus Matt »

Steven wrote:It was warmer and damper in the 5th Century, you know.
And as a result, the swallows were larger (European that is, not African).
"I never said that I was here to help."

User avatar
madjon
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:45 pm

Post by madjon »

it could have been carried by two swallows?

but a climate for growing coconuts would have to be fairly warm above 20C as an average have a reasonable rain fall and of course coconut trees.
date palms on the other hand can grow in torquay, though if you look at climatic change over time you have to take into account the much colder climatic spells of the pre 1700s. which may veru well preclude the presence of any type of tropical or semi tropical nut producing tree.

User avatar
Medicus Matt
Post Knight
Posts: 1470
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:16 pm
Location: Zummerzet
Contact:

Post by Medicus Matt »

Oooh, we're being serious? In that case, according to Michael Jones in 'The End of Roman Britain' :-
About AD 400, there was a shift to wetter, colder weather in Britain, a deterioration that intensified after AD 450. By the late Roman period, there may have been as much as a 10% increase in rainfall. Together with deforestation and expanded agriculture and grazing, heavier rains would have aggravated soil erosion and flooding. Soil would be leached of its nutrients and fertility; and heaths and bogs would have claimed arable soil and lessened productivity.

Annual average temperature also dropped during this time, perhaps as much as 2.5 degrees F (1.5° C). This would have lowered the elevation at which grains could grow by 650 feet and shortened the growing season by almost one whole month.
So, no coconuts for the Romano-Brits.

Moving on to the later 5th and 6th century when Mercia becomes an established A-S territory, temperatures hit a big low in about 560 and then start to climb steadily until you get back to the same sort of temps that you had around 200AD.

Warm enough for grapes, not hot enough for coconuts. Not even at the peak of the Medieval Warm Period in the late 11th/12th Century.

Now, go and change your armour, son of a silly person.
"I never said that I was here to help."

User avatar
MedicKitten
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:46 pm
Location: in the wilds of New Hampshire

Post by MedicKitten »

What if the swallows had greenhouses?
Ita erat quando hic adveni.

User avatar
Steven
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:18 pm
Location: Bedford
Contact:

Post by Steven »

Medicus Matt wrote:So, no coconuts for the Romano-Brits.
Ahhh...that explains why the Saxons weren't big on cavalry!

Maybe they just banged two halves of coconuts together when they had to travel long distances at short notice...
The SK made me do it!

guthrie
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2349
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 8:54 pm
Location: Polmont-Edinburgh

Post by guthrie »

"Ahhh, but grapes were grown in England in the medieval warm period, thus disproving global warming!! Ah hA! got you there!"
Pedantic voice- "There are more vineyards in England today than there were then." *Slap*

User avatar
craig1459
Post Centurion
Posts: 646
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Post by craig1459 »

guthrie wrote:"Ahhh, but grapes were grown in England in the medieval warm period, thus disproving global warming!! Ah hA! got you there!"
Pedantic voice- "There are more vineyards in England today than there were then." *Slap*
I've had Essex Chardonnay - it tasted like it sounds. No wonder the Romans left :lol:
die Behmen hinder iren bafosen ... stunden vest wie die mauren

User avatar
Medicus Matt
Post Knight
Posts: 1470
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:16 pm
Location: Zummerzet
Contact:

Post by Medicus Matt »

craig1459 wrote:
I've had Essex Chardonnay - .
So have I, nasty blonde girl, hangs around the museum in Chelmsford?
"I never said that I was here to help."

User avatar
WorkMonkey
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 1:00 pm
Location: Buuuuurmingum

Post by WorkMonkey »

There's a joke in here somewhere about Stevens hairy nuts. Now where is it...
WORKMONKEY: The Wilderness Years.
Image
Look at the monkey, funny monkey
Little red monkey, acting so fidgety

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

I think we can deduce from this before we all decend into a pit of depravity that mercia would have to be quite hot for coconuts to grow there.

User avatar
Simon Atford
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:24 pm
Location: Darkest Wiltshire

Post by Simon Atford »

Why do they have actually grow the coconuts in Mercia?

Given the trading networks avalible in the post Roman period could they not import them?

Coconuts are easy to transport, either by ship or especially trained swallow teams with strands of creaper :wink: and unlike real horses there's no danger of them dying on you during the voyage :idea:

User avatar
Cat
Post Centurion
Posts: 704
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:40 pm
Location: A Muddy Field Near Tewkesbury

Post by Cat »

Granted, but the change of climate can lead to nut-rot.

User avatar
Simon Atford
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:24 pm
Location: Darkest Wiltshire

Post by Simon Atford »

Except coconuts arn't rearly nuts (learnt this on QI)

User avatar
Cat
Post Centurion
Posts: 704
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:40 pm
Location: A Muddy Field Near Tewkesbury

Post by Cat »

Oh, shytte!
I'll go back to me dirt, then?


(sloshy endosperm,,,heh heh hehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...clip clop, clip clop)

m300572
Post Centurion
Posts: 624
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:11 pm
Location: NW England

Post by m300572 »

Except coconuts arn't rearly nuts
What are they then?? Is this in the same vein as bananas not being fruit but actually a type of grass?

User avatar
Medicus Matt
Post Knight
Posts: 1470
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:16 pm
Location: Zummerzet
Contact:

Post by Medicus Matt »

Coconuts are seeds.
"I never said that I was here to help."

Lady Phoenix
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:24 am
Location: Churchdown, Gloucestershire

Post by Lady Phoenix »

And Bananas are berries (learned that on QI, good program, that!)

Nix
"If you can see what the plate is made of, the portions are too small" Mrs G.Ogg

m300572
Post Centurion
Posts: 624
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:11 pm
Location: NW England

Post by m300572 »

Coconuts are seeds.
So what are nuts then - I always thought they were the seeds of various nut plants (hazelnuts etc)? - although monkey nuts aren't!

User avatar
Medicus Matt
Post Knight
Posts: 1470
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:16 pm
Location: Zummerzet
Contact:

Post by Medicus Matt »

m300572 wrote:
Coconuts are seeds.
So what are nuts then - I always thought they were the seeds of various nut plants (hazelnuts etc)? - although monkey nuts aren't!
Errrmm...nuts are classified as the fruit of a tree..I think.
"I never said that I was here to help."

User avatar
moosiemoosiegander
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 3:35 pm
Location: Up the Old Seadog
Contact:

Post by moosiemoosiegander »

Hmm...just to complicate things, me dictionary says that a nut is a hard shelled seed....

Peanuts are legumes though and coconuts are seeds...just to confooze things :P
I'm up and dressed, what more do you want?

craig1973
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:47 pm
Location: Derby
Contact:

Post by craig1973 »

Yes - the fruit is the whole outer husk that doesn't get as far as Tesco's

Post Reply