The Nature and Status of Paleoethnobotany: Methods and Approaches for Understanding Site Formation Processes
Author(s): Deborah Pearsall
Paleoethnobotany is a diverse discipline, with practitioners around the globe. A systematic discussion of methods and approaches is beyond the scope of this presentation. I focus instead on an issue concerning paleoethnobotanical practice and inference that cross-cuts the kinds of materials being studied, or the geographic or topical focus of research: deposition and preservation of plant remains. Determining what kind(s) of human behaviors and natural processes led to deposition and preservation of plant tissues/pollen/phytoliths/starch grains in archaeological sites/coring localities/artifacts is the interpretive challenge at the heart of paleoethnobotany. I review current methods and approaches for understanding formation processes of the paleoethnobotanical record, and suggest that an approach that integrates multiple biological indicators provides the most promise for drawing strong inferences of past human behaviors.
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This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015) •
- The cutting edge of American Palaeoethnobotany
Cite this Record
The Nature and Status of Paleoethnobotany: Methods and Approaches for Understanding Site Formation Processes. Deborah Pearsall. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394917)