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Abstract Detail

Charles Heiser Special Contributed Paper Session

Wagner, Gail E. [1].

Sumpweed (Asteraceae, Iva annua) through Space and Time.

Recovery of charred and desiccated sumpweed kernels and cypselae from over 350 archaeological sites allow me to re-examine the use and domestication of this North American plant. Sumpweed (Iva annua) was associated with humans for over 7,000 years in eastern North America. It was grown as a domesticated crop, Iva annua var. macrocarpa, for at least 4,500 years, a period of time perhaps longer than for any other native domesticated plant other than sunflower. Its use by Middle Archaic times (cal. 5970-4945 B.C.) led to an increase in cypsela size and possibly Late Archaic domestication by cal. 3640-2880 B.C.. By the terminal Late Archaic or approximately 1000 B.C. its use was widespread from western North Dakota and central Oklahoma to eastern Kentucky and south-central New York, and from northern Louisiana to southeastern Iowa. Sumpweed reached its peak dietary popularity during the Late Woodland (A.D. 300-1200) and early-middle Mississippian/Middle Ceramic periods (A.D. 700-1400). At times its use extended well beyond its present range of distribution, westward and northward into the Plains, and northeastward into Michigan and southern Ontario. Domesticated sumpweed lingered in several areas -- the Plains, north-central North Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana -- up into protohistoric and Contact times, but in most areas cropping of sumpweed was discontinued by A.D. 1400.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University of South Carolina, Anthropology, 1512 Pendelton St., Columbia, SC, 29208, USA

eastern North America

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 15
Location: Lindell D/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 2:45 PM
Number: 15006
Abstract ID:657

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