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Plant Preservation and the Content of Paleobotanical Samples: A Case Study

  • David J. Hally (a1)
Abstract

Paleobotanical samples recovered from the floors of three domestic structures at an early historic (A.D. 1550-1700) site in northwestern Georgia are here compared. Several factors-excavation procedures, duration of structure occupancy, functional nature of structures, nature and timing of structure abandonment-which probably contributed to inter-sample variability are discussed. Consideration of the frequency of individual plant species in the samples and of the ethnohistorical evidence for aboriginal plant processing leads to the conclusion that most variability can be attributed to whether or not structures burned and when during the year burning occurred. The analysis demonstrates that the manner in which plant parts become carbonized has a major impact on the accuracy with which paleobotanical remains reflect actual plant utilization.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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