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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

A primary focus of research on plant use by Native Americans in temperate north-eastern North America has been on the adoption of agricultural crops domesticated elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere. The adoption of the triad maize, common bean, and squash, particularly, has been seen as transformative—changing mobile hunter-gatherers into sedentary or semi-sedentary agriculturists. Based on a decade and a half of research, focused on central New York, it is now established that the three crops have separate histories and that their respective adoptions did not lead to major changes in subsistence systems. Much of this shift is based on microbotanical research. Intensive sampling and analysis of macrobotanical remains have similarly extended our knowledge of wild plant use in the North-east. There is a distinct need to build multiple lines of evidence across the North-east in order to build more comprehensive understandings of crop histories.

Keywords: maize, common bean, squash, agriculture, cooking residues

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