The Nature and Status of Paleoethnobotany

Author(s): Neil Duncan

Year: 2015


How does one honor the greatest generation of paleoethnobotany? It should not be difficult. What they have accomplished is no less than establishing paleoethnobotany as fundamental archaeology. Their cutting edge approaches succeeded in keeping scientific methodology in archaeology throughout the discipline’s theoretical paroxysms, all the while keeping the "ethno" in paleoethnobotany. The next generation of paleoethnobotanists is already building on their mentors’ successes by further advancing scientific approaches to phytolith, starch grain, and plant remain studies, working toward greater integration of these approaches, and acting as essential researchers in multidisciplinary archaeological investigations. This paleoethnobotany that the greatest generation established is set to keep advancing, although hurdles stand in the way. In this presentation, I will explain what I believe to be some of the issues facing the next generation of paleoethnobotanists, significantly, the loss of major laboratories and academic attrition, and what I hope the future nature and status of paleoethnobotany will be.

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Cite this Record

The Nature and Status of Paleoethnobotany. Neil Duncan. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394915)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;