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Identification of Cultigen Amaranth and Chenopod from Rockshelter Sites in Northwest Arkansas

  • Gayle J. Fritz (a1)

The cultigen Amaranthus hypochondriacus has been recognized in four samples of desiccated plant remains from Holman Shelter in Madison County, Arkansas. That site, excavated in 1932, yielded the domesticated Chenopodium berlandieri ssp. nuttalliae described by Hugh Wilson (1981). Cultigen chenopod has been found in one other Madison County rockshelter. Samples containing the two species are described in detail and placed in general cultural context by combining information from excavation notes with regional archaeological data. Mesoamerican origins would exclude both cultigens from the Eastern Agricultural Complex. Current evidence favors a late prehistoric introduction into the eastern United States, but determination of spatial and temporal ranges will depend upon future recovery and analysis.

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American Antiquity
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