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Diversity of cultivars and other plant resources used at habitation sites in the Llanos de Mojos, Beni, Bolivia: Evidence from macrobotanical remains, starch grains, and phytoliths

Dickau, R., Bruno, M.C., Iriarte, J., Prumers, H., Betancourt, C. J., Holst, I. and Mayle, F. E. (2012) Diversity of cultivars and other plant resources used at habitation sites in the Llanos de Mojos, Beni, Bolivia: Evidence from macrobotanical remains, starch grains, and phytoliths. Journal of Archaeological Science, 39 (2). pp. 357-370. ISSN 0305-4403

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2011.09.021

Abstract/Summary

Although sparsely populated today, the Llanos de Mojos, Bolivia, sustained large sedentary societies in the Late Holocene (ca. 500 to 1400 AD). In order to gain insight into the subsistence of these people, we undertook macrobotanical and phytolith analyses of sediment samples, and starch grain and phytolith analyses of artifact residues, from four large habitation sites within this region. Macrobotanical remains show the presence of maize (Zea mays), squash (Cucurbita sp.), peanut (Arachis hypogaea), cotton (Gossypium sp.), and palm fruits (Arecaceae). Microbotanical results confirm the widespread use of maize at all sites, along with manioc (Manihot esculenta), squash, and yam (Dioscorea sp.). These integrated results present the first comprehensive archaeobotanical evidence of the diversity of plants cultivated, processed, and consumed, by the pre-Hispanic inhabitants of the Amazonian lowlands of Bolivia.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:32928
Publisher:Elsevier

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