Archaeoethnobotany and Household Contexts

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 81st Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (2016)

This session is broadly focused on archaeoethnobotanical remains associated with household contexts, including both microbotanical and macrobotanical datasets. The session also includes ethnographic work as a means of adding perspective to ethnobotanical research. Presenters discuss the actions and behaviors that led to the deposition of particular remains, and/or what these remains indicate about the state of the ancient environment and past subsistence strategies. Secondarily, as this session is not focused on a particular geographic region, it is meant to facilitate an exchange of methods and interpretive frameworks between scholars working on datasets from different geographical regions.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • An Archaeobotanical Analysis of Four Prehistoric Central Thai Sites: the Preliminary Results (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sydney Hanson. Jade d'Alpoim Guedes. Steve Weber. Thanik Lertcharnrit.

    Thailand is a relatively new frontier for archaeobotanists, having suffered in the past from a shortage of archaeobotanical research. While archaeologists in Southeast Asia have begun to chart when and how rice and millet agriculture developed and spread, a clear picture of prehistoric agriculture in central Thailand has yet to emerge. This paper describes some preliminary results from a series of sites that have been occupied from ca. 2500 BCE to 500 CE. These are Non Pa Wai, Non Mak La, and...

  • Bread (nut) Pit? Determining the function of San Bartolo chultúns (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sadie Weber. Lauren Santini.

    San Bartolo, located in the Petén of Guatemala, boasts the earliest examples of Maya murals and writing known to date in Mesoamerica. Despite the extensive work in the monumental sector of the site, comparatively less work has been carried out on the domestic sectors. Like many Maya sites, chultúns are a common though enigmatic feature. High quantities of charcoal and household refuse recovered during the chultún excavations, including ground stone, animal bones, worked bone, and wood charcoal...

  • Disturbing households: assessing contextual integrity with botanical remains (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Susan Allen. China Shelton.

    Since 2008, we have been investigating botanical evidence for subsistence practices, economic organization, and environmental change at the Bronze Age site of Iklaina in southwestern Greece. The spatially intensive sampling strategy we have adopted—the first of its kind to be applied to a Mycenaean administrative center—promotes a high spatial resolution for the archaeobotanical dataset. As such, in addition to providing insights concerning changes in subsistence and land use during the Mycenaen...

  • A Glimpse of Domestic Space at Tenahaha from the Cotahuasi Valley, Peru (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Aaron Mayer. Matthew Sayre.

    In the field seasons of 2004-2007 Justin Jennings and his field crew conducted archaeological excavations at the Middle Horizon (600-1100A.D.) site of Tenahaha in the Cothuasi Valley of the Peruvian Andes. During 2013-2014 floatation samples from the site were analyzed in the Archaeology Laboratory at the University of South Dakota. The Tenahaha site contained five domestic areas from which macrobotanical data was collected and interpreted. It is believed that the Tenahaha necropolis was only...

  • How Do Households Work? Examining plant use during the Late Chalcolithic at Çadır Höyük, Turkey (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Madelynn Von Baeyer.

    This paper presents archaeobotanical data from the Late Chalcolithic (LC) archaeobotanical assemblage at Çadır Höyük, a mounded site on the north central Anatolian plateau with almost continuous occupation from the Middle Chalcolithic through the Byzantine period. Architectural and metallurgical evidence indicate that during the LC, Çadır was developing as a regional rural center, which makes it an ideal site to study the role that households occupied during in emerging systems of social...

  • Identification of bast fibers from Samdzong, Nepal (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mario Zimmermann. Jade D'Alpoim Guedes. Mark Altenderfer.

    Textile remains have been recovered from burials at the highland site of Samdzong, northwestern Nepal. The fabrics are desiccated exhibiting and high degree of preservation which is shown by the presence of cellular tissue pertaining to bast bundles. In this paper, we discuss methodological approaches towards the study of plant fibers and their surrounding tissues focusing on different techniques of microscopy. We will address advantages and limitations for transmitted and polarized light, as...

  • Insights on Arboreal Exploitation in Late Classic San Bartolo, Guatemala from Midden Charcoal Analysis (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lauren Santini.

    This paper presents findings from analysis of the wood charcoal assemblage recovered from two chultun middens from a household site from the Late Classic period at the Maya site of San Bartolo, Guatemala. It will include discussion of fuel gathering strategies, subsistence strategies, how the species identified in the assemblage reflect the relationship the ancient residents of this household had with their local environment, and considerations for future research in reconstructing ancient...

  • Paleoethnobotany on the Columbia Plateau: A Case Study from the Pend Oreille River Valley (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Molly Carney.

    Paleoethnobotanical studies of hunter-gatherer archaeological assemblages on the Columbia Plateau in the Pacific Northwest are exceedingly rare and often poorly reported. The Flying Goose Site (45PO435), located along the Pend Oreille River in northeastern Washington offers an opportunity to examine a Plateau culture area archaeobotanical assemblage in greater detail. Summer excavations in 2014 and 2015 indicate that this late Prehistoric site appears to have been some form of small structure,...

  • The People Behind the Practice: An Ethnological Encounter with a Maya Forest Gardener (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jena Gray.

    In recent years, alternative subsistence strategies have been explored by archaeoethnobotanists and others to describe ways in which the ancient Maya managed their land. Through a contextualized analysis of contemporary Maya interaction with their environment, ethnobotanists hope to gain insight into the past. Forest gardening, a sustainable, agroforestry system similar to permaculture practices, offers a glance into how the Maya cooperate with the land. This paper seeks not to provide an...

  • Using Practice Theory to Infer Household Behaviors at Islamic Ashkelon (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kathleen Forste.

    The contents of archaeological features targeted for the recovery of botanical remains, such as hearths, ovens, pits, and floor surfaces, are more often than not the cumulative residue of multiple episodes of cooking, cleaning, or other activities that deposit and preserve plant parts. The actions responsible for this deposition can be illuminated when the patterns within the assemblage are interpreted within the framework of practice theory, which is well-suited for such applications due to its...