Colchis LGM CHG Isolated Refugium and Refugia: Nutrition: Chestnut


«The main chestnut refugia are located in the Transcaucasian region… In particular, additional profiles indicating a strong chestnut presence are added, such as the sites in the Caucasus… The most consistent shelter zone is represented by the Trans-Caucasian region (located mostly south of the Caucasian chain, in the territory of today’s Georgia…)»[1]

Quaternary refugia of the sweet chestnut 1

Main refugium areas of the European chestnut according to their probability level (P.Krebs, M.Conedera, et al.)

Palaeoclimatic models help to understand current distribution of Caucasian forest species

«Spatial projection of the most transferable models on the Caucasus and western Asia under current climatic conditions: left, uncorrected models; right, models corrected with the refugial distance … Cs, Castanea sativa…» [2]


Map of Georgia showing the main natural vegetation groups (Castanea sativa)… [3]

«Каштан обыкновенный (Castanea sativa Mill) в Аджарии растет от приморских берегов Черного моря до высоты 1300-1600 м н.у.м., причем на высоте от 400-500 до 1000-1100 м создает собственный вертикальный пояс. В горно-лесной зоне Аджарии в пределах своего пояса, где по сравнению с приморской зоной климат менее влажный, произрастают как чистые, так и смешанные с дубом, грабом, ясенем, буком и другими породами каштановые древостои. В основном климат зоны каштановых лесов умеренно влажный и умеренно теплый с продолжительным летом. … По данным Г.Н. Гигаури и К.Л. Тугуши (1967), 40 лет назад семенные девственные леса Абхазии имели среднюю высоту 28,5 м, средний диаметр 49 см и запас 505 м /га, т. е. соответственно в 1,5, 1,65 и 1,55 раза больше, чем в настоящее время в Аджарии. … Количество деревьев, шт/га 517~18.894» : In Adjara Castanea is forming monocultural wood zone from 400-500 and up to 1000-1100 m. a.s.l. Number of Castanea trees per hectare is not less than 500 (100 full grown tees). [4]

«Наибольшее количество плодоносящих деревьев наблюдается в типах леса каштанник ежевиковый и каштанник колхидский, самое меньшее — в каштаннике рододендроновом. Общий урожай плодов в этих типах соответственно равен 400, 320 и 100 кг/га. … Подсчитано, что из каштанников Кавказа можно ежегодно получать 40—50 тыс.т. плодов, из которых на долю Краснодарского края приходится около 19 тыс. т…» : Present-day economically effective potential of production of nuts in Caucasus is calculated as 40.000-50.000 tons.[5] Per hectare harvest potential in Colchis LGM refugium woods can be calculated as 250 kg.

«Caucasian types of chestnut can survive up to -25° C and grow up 1500 m. a.s.l. Best time for harvest is September-October. Flowers can be obtained by bees during May-June.» [6]

But, nuts can be found from mid-August till January – mid-February. I have collected nuts enough for one day nutrition of several people from one tree in mid December, in mountains near Tsalenjikha.

Nutrition estimates

Estimated area populated by chestnut in Colchis Refugium during LGM can be calculated as 2.000 km2 (200.000 hectares). Estimated number of trees on 2.000 km2 during LGM as 20-30 mln. Estimated effective maximal production by CHGs can be calculated as much as 50.000-25.000 tons of fresh nuts (250 kg/ha).

Fresh chestnut fruits have about 180 calories (800 kJ) per 100 grams of edible parts. Total nutrition power of available amount nuts can be calculated as millions of kCal.

To preserve their freshness for a few months with no artificial refrigeration, the chestnuts can be soaked in cold water for about 20 hours immediately after harvest, after which they are dried in the shade, then layered in dry sand — this technology was able for CHGs.


During LGM Chestnut had high direct nutrition potential, provided Colchis LGM CHG settlers with enough food from mid-September till mid-February.

For wild boars, which were main hunting animal for CHGs, Chestnut provided vast food during six month per year (boars were migrating up to mountains following mature nuts).

Together with Juglans regia and more common Hazel, Chestnut may formed strong nutrition basement for CHGs population, as well as for hunted animals.

Nutrition potential of Colchis LGM refugium for CHGs can be key factor for studying DNA development during LGM in Transcaucasia, East Anatolia and all the West Asia.

CHGs were not to be allergic to Chestnut and other nuts…

[1] Quaternary refugia of the sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.): an extended palynological approach. P.Krebs, M.Conedera, et al.

[2] Palaeoclimatic models help to understand current distribution of Caucasian forest species. D.Tarkhnishvili, A.Gavashelishvili, L.Mumladze

[3] Late Quaternary record of the vegetation and catchment-related changes from Lake Paravani (Javakheti, South Caucasus). E.Messagera, S.Belmecherib, et al.

[4] Характер роста и формирования каштановых древостоев Аджарии. З.Манвелидзе, М.Сванидзе, at al.


[5] Young Ranger Guide, 2015.

Colchis (/ˈkɒlkɪs/; Georgian: კოლხეთი Kolkheti; Greek Κολχίς Kolkhis) was an ancient kingdom and region on the coast of the Black Sea, centered in present-day western Georgia. It has been described in modern scholarship as “the earliest Georgian formation” which, along with the Kingdom of Iberia, would later contribute significantly to the development of the medieval Georgian statehood and the Georgian nation. Internationally, Colchis is perhaps best known for its role in Greek mythology, most notably as the destination of the Argonauts, as well as the home to Medea and the Golden fleece. It was also described as a land rich with gold, iron, timber and honey that would export its resources mostly to ancient Greece.

Colchis was populated by Colchians, an early Lazuri speaking tribe, ancestral to the contemporary Western Georgians, namely Svans and Mingrelians, as well as the related Lazs. Its geography is mostly assigned to what is now the western part of Georgia and encompasses the present-day Georgian provinces of Samegrelo, Imereti, Guria, Adjara, Abkhazeti, Svaneti, Racha; modern Russia’s Sochi and Tuapse districts; and present-day Turkey’s Rize, Trabzon and Artvin provinces.

In biology, a refugium (plural: refugia) is a location which supports an isolated or relict population of a once more widespread species. This isolation (allopatry) can be due to climatic changes, geography, or human activities such as deforestation and overhunting.

In anthropology, refugia often refers specifically to Last Glacial Maximum refugia, where some ancestral human populations may have been forced back to glacial refugia, similar small isolated pockets in the face of the continental ice sheets during the last glacial period. Going from west to east, suggested examples include the Franco-Cantabrian region (in northern Iberia), the Italian and Balkan peninsulas, the Ukrainian LGM refuge, and the Bering Land Bridge. Archaeological and genetic data suggest that the source populations of Paleolithic humans survived the glacial maxima (incl. the Last Glacial Maximum) in sparsely wooded areas and dispersed through areas of high primary productivity while avoiding dense forest cover.

Last Glacial Maximum refugia were places where humans survived during the last glacial period in the northern hemisphere, around 25,000 to 20,000 years ago.

CHG: Caucasian Hunter Gatherers

See also: Colchis LGM CHG Isolated Refugium and Refugia: Population: Hiatus vs Continuity


2 Responses to Colchis LGM CHG Isolated Refugium and Refugia: Nutrition: Chestnut

  1. გამოხმაურება: Colchis LGM CHG Isolated Refugium and Refugia: Population: Hiatus vs Continuity | ბესარიონ გუგუშვილი

  2. გამოხმაურება: Colchis LGM CHG Isolated Refugium and Refugia: Glaciers and permafrost: Dzudzuana example | ბესარიონ გუგუშვილი

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