Beyond Seeds and Charcoal: Constructing a Past for the Future

Author(s): Naomi Miller

Year: 2015


The "big issue" of my career has been long-term human impact on the environment, an inherently processual concern. Working on ancient west Asian plant remains, ethnographic analogy and modern vegetation analogs helped me explain how the the demand for energy lead to deforestation and increasing dung fuel use, both of which are traceable through archaeobotanical study. Seeds preserved in dung fuel, in turn, allow us to identify agropastoral practices that created new environmental niches for plants, animals and people. At present, human impact on the environment has become a short-term affair. The analogs that we rely on for archaeological interpretation, both cultural and "natural," are fast disappearing. Much of my current work is concerned with protecting and maintaining as much of the cultural and "natural" context of archaeological resources as possible, most directly the historical landscape at Gordion, Turkey, because today is the past of the future.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Beyond Seeds and Charcoal: Constructing a Past for the Future. Naomi Miller. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394911) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8CZ38D1

Spatial Coverage

min long: 28.74; min lat: 27.994 ; max long: 62.314; max lat: 41.771 ;


General Note: pdf with images and text of paper presented at the SAA; text is in the 'comments' for each image.

File Information

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Miller-SAA-2015-tDar.pdf 3.65mb May 6, 2015 1:55:19 PM Public