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On Sunday, June 23, at 7:00 p.m., the Upper Gila Preservation Archaeology Field School welcomes Karen Adams, Archaeological Botanist, for “Ancient Plant Domestication and Plant Management in the U.S. Southwest.” The presentation is open to the public and a great way to meet the field school staff and students.
The archaeological plant record in the U.S. Southwest reveals that ancient folks grew crops imported from Mexico (corn, beans, squash) and ate many local wild plants. Occasionally they domesticated a wild plant by changing the morphology of its parts in some recognizable way that made it easier to harvest. Or perhaps they found a wild plant patch that matured earlier, or tasted better, or kept in storage longer. At times ancient groups moved a favored wild plant from one region to another. Karen Adams will give examples from the archaeological plant record of both wild plant domestication and wild plant management in the pre-Hispanic era. She will also discuss the importance of simple mutations in these processes, and the role these mutations have played in both plant and animal domestication.
Lectures are held in Cliff, New Mexico, in the cream building with blue portable toilets on the north side of Hwy 180 just east of Shields Canyon Road and the highway yard. (This is 2.2 miles west of the 180–211 junction in central Cliff.)