Ancient Starch Research
Robin Torrence, Huw Barton
Left Coast Press, 2006 - Science - 256 pages
What role did plant resources have in the evolution of the human species? Why and how have plants been managed and transported to new environments? Where, how, and why were plants domesticated, and why do the patterns vary in different parts of the world? What is the relationship between the intensification of food production and the rise of complex societies? Numerous new studies are using starch granules discovered in archaeological contexts to answer these questions and improve our knowledge of past human behavior and environmental variation. Given the substantial body of successful research, the time has clearly come for a comprehensive description of ancient starch research and its potential for archaeologists. This book fills these roles by describing the fundamental principles underlying starch research, guiding researchers through the methodology, reviewing the results of significant case studies, and pointing the way to future avenues for research. The joint product of over two dozen archaeological scientists, Ancient Starch Research aims to bring the important new field of ancient starch analysis to the attention of a wider range of scholars and to provide them with the information needed to embark on their own research.
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LIST OF BOXES TABLES AND FIGURES
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Aboriginal amylopectin amylose ancient starch research archaeo archaeological contexts archaeological record areas artifacts Atchison Australia birefringence bulbifera Cave Chapter charred cheeky yam chemical Colocasia esculenta contain contexts contrast cooking coprolites coverslip Cuddie Springs deposits Dioscorea domestication environmental example extinction cross extracted Figure Fullagar gelatinisation grains gran grinding hilum Horrocks human Huw Barton identification important Judith Field Lapita layers Lentfer light magnification maize material ments methods microfossils microns microscope modern modified starch morphology observed organic Papua New Guinea particles patterns percent Photo phytoliths Piperno pipette plant species plant taxa Plate polarised pollen potential presence processing range raphides recovered reference collection region resins samples sediment seeds shape slide soil sources specimens stain starch analysis starch granules starch residues starchy plants stone tools storage surface sweet potato taphonomy taro techniques Therin tion tissue tubers types Ugent ules use-wear