Naomi F. Miller and Applied Paleoethnobotany of Southwest Asia

Author(s): Chantel White; Alan Farahani; John Marston

Year: 2017


Naomi F. Miller’s work exemplifies the paleoethnobotanical approach towards understanding human interactions with botanical landscapes in the past using archaeological remains, rooted in theoretical traditions of American anthropological archaeology. On the occasion of her Fryxell Award in Interdisciplinary Research from the SAA, we reflect on her body of published research and active fieldwork to draw out five themes that highlight areas in which Miller has made significant contributions to the field. These include: 1) interpretation of archaeobotanical deposits (best exemplified by her insights into the use of animal dung as fuel); 2) quantitative methods for archaeobotanical data analysis; 3) regional synthesis of archaeobotanical datasets to reconstruct environmental and agricultural change through time; 4) integration of botanical datasets with textual and iconographic evidence for plant use, as well as parallel lines of archaeological inquiry (e.g., faunal analysis); and 5) the conservation of archaeological sites via modern plant management strategies. We emphasize the influence of Miller’s work on the next generation of scholars in paleoethnobotany, both within and beyond Southwest Asia.

Cite this Record

Naomi F. Miller and Applied Paleoethnobotany of Southwest Asia. Chantel White, Alan Farahani, John Marston. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430574)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14553