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Paleoethnobotany - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780125480406, 9781483288963


1st Edition

A Handbook of Procedures

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Author: Deborah Pearsall
eBook ISBN: 9781483288963
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th April 1989
Page Count: 470
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This book describes the approaches and techniques of paleoethnobotany--the study of the interrelationships between human populations and the plant world through the archaeological record. Its purpose is twofold. First, it assembles in one volume the three major methods of paleoethnobotany, the analysis of macroremains, pollen analysis, and phytolith analysis, for the student or professional interested in the field. Second, it presents on paleoethnobotanist's view of the discipline: its past, present, and future, its strengths and weaknesses, and its role in modern archaeology.

Key Features

ï A comprehensive reference work for archaeologists and paleobotanists interested in reconstructing interrelationships between humans and plants from the archaeological record ï The first general of work theory and methods to emerge from this subdiscipline which has developed during the past twenty years ï Makes the approaches and techniques of this field more accessible to the general anthropological and botanical audiences ï Offers archaeologists a handbook of field sampling and flotation techniques as well as an introduction to methods of analysis and interpretation in paleoethnobotany


Student and professional paleobotanists who work with archaeologists or geologists concerned with Holocene times. Archaeologists who require the services of botanists to help interpret their finds.

Table of Contents

The Paleoethnobotanical Approach. Techniques for Recovering Macroremains. Identification and Interpretation of Macroremains. Archaeological Palynology. Phytolith Analysis. Integrating Paleoethnobotanical Data. Each chapter includes references. Index.


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1989
28th April 1989
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Deborah Pearsall

Deborah Pearsall earned a PhD in anthropology from the University of Illinois. She is an archaeologist whose interests center on the origins of agriculture in the New World tropics. Books include Paleoethnobotany: A Handbook of Procedures, Plants and People in Ancient Ecuador and Origins of Agriculture in the Neotropics (co-authored with D. Piperno).

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Missouri, Columbia, USA


@qu:"In final analysis, Deborah Pearsall has provided us with a comprehensive, authoritative, and indispensable textbook to modern procedures of paleoethnobotany. This book provides the reader with much food for thought in the interpretation of archaeological plant remains. It also works in the classroom, laboratory, and office or wherever one attempts to understand the interactions of humans, plants, and their environment." @source:--OHIO JOURNAL OF SCIENCE @qu:"In her preface, Pearsall comments on the fact that palaeoethnobotany lies between the worlds of archaeology and botany. By writing this fine book, she has gone a long way towards drawing those worlds together. I have no doubt that it will rapidly become a standard reference." @source:--GEOARCHAEOLOGY @qu:"This book is an excellent source of information for all students and instructors of paleoethnobotany. Contrary to the title, the book contains much more information than just procedural data. The most significant contribution of this book is the importance of recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each paleoethnobotanical data base as well as the importance of integration in determining diet and paleoenvironment." @source:--AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STRATETGIC PALYNOLOGISTS NEWSLETTER @qu:"A welcome addition to the field of paleoethnobotany. Every archeologist planning to excavate a site needs to read Pearsall's section on sampling botanical remains before digging." @source:--AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST @qu:"Deborah Pearsall has written an indispensable book. The recovery, identification, and analysis of plant macroremains, pollen, and phytoliths are detailed authoritatively. Its encyclopedic coverage provides an unprecedented basis for understanding human and plant interactions in the archaeological record. It is a book which will assume a prominent position on the shelf of all archaeologists. It will stand alone, set the tone for the future, and tower above any potential competitor for years to come." @source:--Richard I. Ford UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

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