An Ethnoarchaeological Approach to Understanding the Role of Root-crops in Ancient Lowland Maya Subsistence.

Author(s): Lucia Gudiel

Year: 2015


Dr. Scott Fedick’s research goals have always emphasized the importance of understanding the diversity and ingenuity of lowland Maya subsistence. Through his guidance and mentorship my dissertation focus was developed to explore the role of root-crops in ancient Maya subsistence. Recent paleoethnobotanical research has demonstrated that the ancient Maya diet included a wide array of plant foods.Currently lacking is enough evidence for the role of roots-crops.To begin to acquire an understanding of how to best recover evidence of root-crops it is important to understand all the biases that may affect their visibility and patterning in the archaeological record.

Cultural and natural processes transform material remains morphologically, quantitatively, spatially and relationally, thereby transforming the archaeological record. My doctoral study examines the presence and significance of root-crops for the ancient lowland Maya by using a multifaceted approach.One such facet is an ethnographic study to document the cultural value of root-crops and the behaviors that would lead to the incorporation of root-crop starch into the archaeological record. Observing their use-history from cultivation through discard in modern communities may provide an understanding of the relationship between these behaviors and the location and condition that root-crop starch might enter the archaeological record.

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Cite this Record

An Ethnoarchaeological Approach to Understanding the Role of Root-crops in Ancient Lowland Maya Subsistence.. Lucia Gudiel. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396238)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;