Touwaide, Alain .
When History Meets Genetics. Horseradish in Antiquity.
Genetics is able to reconstruct the phylogenesis of plant species. Without a validation from history, such reconstruction is theoretical, however exact and useful it may be. Horseradish offers a paradimatic case to check the validity of this hypothesis. The paper will present the textual evidence about the diffusion of horseradish from its area of origin to the Mediterranean, and check wheter such data correlate with the result of genetical analysis. In so doing it will show how ancient textual data (which should preferably be confirmed with archaeological data) complete the results of genetic history and transform them from a flat image into a three-dimensional one, which adheres closely to reality. In the field of economic botany, this is particularly relevant as this type of inquiry makes it possible to identify the actors whose uses economic botany studies, together with their places and time. The paper will capitalize on the recent work by botanists and geneticists and expand on it by bringing to light the data of historical research.
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1 - Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions, Research, PO Box 7606, Washington, DC, 20044, USA
historical (textual) data
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Waterman Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 1:45 PM