Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Temple University And Smithsonian Researchers Find Earliest Direct Evidence Of Crop Cultivation In The Americas

Date:
October 23, 2000
Source:
Temple University
Summary:
Researchers from Temple University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama have found some of the earliest direct evidence of root crop cultivation in the Americas.

Researchers from Temple University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama have found some of the earliest direct evidence of root crop cultivation in the Americas, it was reported in a recent edition of the journal Nature (Oct. 19).

The researchers, part of a joint Temple-Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute project in Panama, found starch grains on stone tools excavated from a rockshelter found on a coastal plain of that Central American country. The grains were identified as coming from domesticated root crops such as arrowroot and manioc as well as from maize that date back nearly 7,000 years.

The question of when and where Native Americans first developed agriculture is controversial, partly because so much of the evidence is indirect. Many of the crops used developed from plants in the tropical forests, leading to suggestions that these humid regions were early centers of plant husbandry.

"If these crops were already domesticated--meaning they¹ve already been altered from their wild form and are being grown as crops--in Panama 7,000 years ago, they must have been domesticated much earlier," says Dr. Anthony Ranere, chair of Temple¹s anthropology department and a co-author of the study. "What this means is that farming was taking place in the forests of tropical America earlier than most people think."

Ranere directed the initial excavation of the rockshelter in 1973 and again in 1975 and returned to direct new excavations in 1997 with the assistance of fellow Temple faculty member Dr. Patricia Hansell, one of the study¹s co-authors.

In addition to Ranere and Hansell, the study was co-authored by Dolores Piperno, a Temple alumna, and Irene Holst, both of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, located in Panama.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Temple University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Temple University. "Temple University And Smithsonian Researchers Find Earliest Direct Evidence Of Crop Cultivation In The Americas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001022201535.htm>.
Temple University. (2000, October 23). Temple University And Smithsonian Researchers Find Earliest Direct Evidence Of Crop Cultivation In The Americas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001022201535.htm
Temple University. "Temple University And Smithsonian Researchers Find Earliest Direct Evidence Of Crop Cultivation In The Americas." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001022201535.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) — Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) — Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins