Central Texas Plant Baking


This is an abstract from the "Hot Rocks in Hot Places: Investigating the 10,000-Year Record of Plant Baking across the US-Mexico Borderlands" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Burned rock middens, large accumulations of thermally fractured stone and charred earth representing earth oven facilities, are ubiquitous in the hunter-gatherer archaeological record of Central Texas, upon and near the Edwards Plateau. The subject of study for over a century, work in the late 1990s and early 2000s compiled radiocarbon dates from these features suggesting their use began as early as 9000 cal BP, but may not have peaked until between 800 and 1000 cal BP. This paper updates those earlier studies through the addition of radiocarbon dates run over the past 15 years and summarizes what has been learned about the underlying technology and the targeted resources. Our review suggests that while the processing of a variety of resources likely contributed to burned rock midden accumulation over their roughly 8000-year use trajectory in Central Texas, in most cases these features served to bake a narrow range of plants to satisfy mainly dietary concerns. Evidence of subsistence, technology, and dating are used to synthesize an understanding of these plant baking facilities in Central Texas.

Cite this Record

Central Texas Plant Baking. Richard McAuliffe, Stephen Black, Raymond Mauldin. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450712)


Geographic Keywords
North America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23522