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What Can Hogup Cave Starches Tell Us about Diet That We don’t already Know? Context, Preservation, and the Comparison of Archaeobotanical Analyses.

Author(s): Anne Thomas ; Nicole Herzog

Year: 2015

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Summary

Starches preserved on prehistoric artifacts including ceramics, ground stone and other lithic tools have assisted archaeologists in better understanding the relationships between technologies and food products, food processing, activity areas and tool function. However, little research has been done to identify differential starch preservation across these artifact types. In order to test whether starch preservation is uniform across tool types, and to examine whether starch records are congruent with other types of archaeobotanical records, we examined ground stone tools, basketry and sediment samples from three strata within the Hogup Cave site. Using diagnostic starches recovered from both ground stone and basketry, a species list of plant foods was generated. This list was compared to a list of plant foods recovered from faecal and macrobotanical analyses to determine whether they reflect a similar dietary assemblage. Results highlight the mismatch between the two, and suggest that starch analysis is an invaluable tool in identifying the presence of plant foods otherwise undetected in macrobotanical or faecal assemblages. Additionally, starch research can shed light on the specific uses of twinned and coiled basketry by providing evidence of the types of cooked and raw foods commonly handled with this technology.

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What Can Hogup Cave Starches Tell Us about Diet That We don’t already Know? Context, Preservation, and the Comparison of Archaeobotanical Analyses.. Nicole Herzog, Anne Thomas. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398247)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -122.761; min lat: 29.917 ; max long: -109.27; max lat: 42.553 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America