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This second edition of the definitive work on doing paleoethnobotany follows the steady growth in the quantity and sophistication of paleoethnobotanical research. It features a rewritten chapter on phytolith analysis and a new chapter, Integrating Biological Data. It also includes new techniques, such as residue analysis, and new application of old indicators, such as starch grains. An expanded examination of pollen analysis, more examples of environmental reconstruction, and a better balance of Old and New World examples increase the versatility of this holistic view of paleoethnobotany.
Paleoethnobotany: A Handbook of Procedures presents the diverse approaches and techniques that anthropologists and botanists use to study human-plant interactions. It shows why anthropologists must identify plant remains and understand the ecology of human-plant interactions. Additionally, it demonstrates why botanists need to view the plant world from a cultural perspective and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the archaeological record.
Deborah Pearsall earned a PhD in anthropology from the University of Illinois and is professor of archaeology at University of Missouri. 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). She was awarded the 2002 Fryxell Award for Exceptional Interdisciplinary Research by the Society for American Archaeology and served as president of the Society of Ethnobiology and the Society for Phytolith Research.