Anthropology Professor Publishes Article About Ancient Past

Ancient Field systems near the archaeological site of Bir Madhkur, Jordan

Dr. Jennifer Ramsay from the Department of Anthropology published an outreach article in the Ancient Near East Today titled “The Wheat From the Chaff: What We Can Learn From Studying Plants in Antiquity.”

Plants are a fundamental part of human’s evolutionary history and undoubtedly, we would not exist without them. Plants provide us with the air we breathe, building materials, fibers for textiles, and of course the food we eat.  However, unlike other types of material culture (like ceramics), it took a good deal of time for the field of Archaeobotany (or Paleoethnobotany) to develop. Much like separating the wheat from the chaff, learning how to recover often small, charred fragments of ancient plants from the surrounding sediment was a process. It was not until the 1970’s when the flotation method of recovery was employed that the field really came into its own.

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Posted: December 07, 2023