Ancient Starch Research In California: Results from CA-SBA-53

Author(s): Jenna Santy

Year: 2015


Acorns were an essential foodstuff across prehistoric California; the transition to acorn use is currently being investigated. CA-SBA-53, a single-component Middle Holocene site on the mainland coast near Santa Barbara, contains an assemblage fairly evenly split between mortars and pestles, traditionally associated with acorn processing, and manos and metates, generally associated with seeds.; furthermore, these mortars and pestles are some of the oldest known in California. By extracting and analyzing ancient starch grain extracted from ground stone tools, we can study subsistence shifts and associated shifts in technology. Such analyses can further illuminate issues of technological transitions and resource intensification during this period. Final results, presented here, suggest that this method could be very useful in reconstructing ancient foodways in prehistoric California, even though there remains much work to be done, particularly in regards to identification.

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Cite this Record

Ancient Starch Research In California: Results from CA-SBA-53. Jenna Santy. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395530)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;