Developing a microfossil key for Fiji from modern herbarium specimens
Microfossil analysis provides a valuable proxy for inferring prehistoric environmental conditions as well as direct evidence for the presence of agricultural domesticates and other important subsistence cultigens. However, the body of reference material for identifying individual plant morphotypes is lacking. Here we present our preliminary efforts at assessing the efficacy of modern herbarium specimens as a key for identifying archaeological sedimentary and calculus-derived microfossils. We present a simplified method for extracting phytoliths, calcium oxalates and starches from modern plants and compare frequencies recovered from specific plant parts, which may provide insight into differences in relative abundance observed in Fijian archaeology.
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Developing a microfossil key for Fiji from modern herbarium specimens. Rebecca Hazard, John Dudgeon. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396323)
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min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;