Taming Wild Plants: How Hard (or Easy) Can It Be?

Author(s): Karen Adams

Year: 2017


Ancient diets in the Hohokam area of central and southern Arizona included indigenous domesticates. Evidence for domesticated Little Barley (Hordeum pusillum), Mexican crucillo (Condalia warnockii), and amaranth (Amaranthus) rests on morphological changes. Range extensions into higher/lower areas are cited for management of agaves (Agave) and cholla (Opuntia) plants. Here I consider the process of domestication, and suggest that one or more mutations in nature plus one observant human may be all that was needed to domesticate some plants. Recent recognition of domesticated Little Barley grains in a Basketmaker III (A.D. 750) site in southwestern Colorado raises the issue of independent domestication.

Cite this Record

Taming Wild Plants: How Hard (or Easy) Can It Be?. Karen Adams. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430325)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14461