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1. Hood, Angela N. Testing the Veracity of Paleoethnobotanical Macroremain Data: A Case Study from the Cer¿¿¿¿n Site, El Salvador.

Degree: MA, Arts and Sciences: Anthropology, 2012, University of Cincinnati

Archaeological research conducted in 2009 at the Cer¿¿¿¿n site, a Late Classic Maya village in El Salvador rapidly buried in volcanic ash from the Loma Caldera eruption in A.D. 600, identified intensively cultivated outfields planted in manioc (Manihot esculenta) and maize (Zea mays) 200 meters south of the habitation area. Ash from Loma Caldera encased plants growing in the outfields when the volcano erupted, and the spaces once occupied by these plants were cast in plaster to reveal an unusually detailed view of an ancient agricultural landscape. A midden comprised of abundant charred paleoethnobotanical macroremains and artifacts was found among these fields. Manioc and maize stems cast in plaster were found to be growing from the midden at the time of the eruption. This thesis hypothesizes that manioc plant parts would be identified in the midden’s assemblage of charred macroremains since the plant’s stems grew from the midden. A paleoethnobotanical analysis conducted with the midden assemblage did not identify any manioc plant parts, however. To address the absence of manioc in the form of macroremains, the following questions are posed by this study: Do the plant remains identified from the midden reflect those plants identified in their systemic contexts within the Cer¿¿¿¿n village and the site’s southern agricultural outfields? If the plant remains from the midden and those plants identified in their systemic contexts in the village and outfields are similar, did Cer¿¿¿¿n’s unusual site formation processes contribute to this lack of a preservation bias between the two assemblages? Or does greater parity exist between plant macroremains recovered from the archaeological record and plant resources utilized at ancient Maya sites than archaeologists and paleoethnobotanists currently realize? If the plant remains from the Operation P midden differ from the plants identified in their systemic contexts at Cer¿¿¿¿n, how can plant use practices, site formation processes, and recovery/identification biases introduced by archaeologists and paleoethnobotanists contribute to discrepancies between the two assemblages? This study concludes that the absence of manioc and other plant taxa in the form of carbonized macroremains in the archaeological record does not necessarily preclude their presence and use by the ancient Maya at sites lacking the unique preservation conditions present at Cer¿¿¿¿n. Incorporating the systematic collection and analysis of both paleoethnobotanical macroremains and microremains into the research designs of archaeological projects in the Maya area will help to bridge the gap between archaeologically invisible plant resources and those used by the ancient Maya. Advisors/Committee Members: Scarborough, Vernon (Committee Chair).

Subjects/Keywords: Archaeology; Cer¿¿¿¿n; Paleoethnobotany; Classic Maya; Manioc; El Salvador; Zapotit¿¿¿¿n Valley

…al. (1996a). Climate At an elevation of 450 m asl and a latitude of 14°N, the… 

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APA (6th Edition):

Hood, A. N. (2012). Testing the Veracity of Paleoethnobotanical Macroremain Data: A Case Study from the Cer¿¿¿¿n Site, El Salvador. (Masters Thesis). University of Cincinnati. Retrieved from http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1337287040

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Hood, Angela N. “Testing the Veracity of Paleoethnobotanical Macroremain Data: A Case Study from the Cer¿¿¿¿n Site, El Salvador.” 2012. Masters Thesis, University of Cincinnati. Accessed February 27, 2021. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1337287040.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Hood, Angela N. “Testing the Veracity of Paleoethnobotanical Macroremain Data: A Case Study from the Cer¿¿¿¿n Site, El Salvador.” 2012. Web. 27 Feb 2021.

Vancouver:

Hood AN. Testing the Veracity of Paleoethnobotanical Macroremain Data: A Case Study from the Cer¿¿¿¿n Site, El Salvador. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. University of Cincinnati; 2012. [cited 2021 Feb 27]. Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1337287040.

Council of Science Editors:

Hood AN. Testing the Veracity of Paleoethnobotanical Macroremain Data: A Case Study from the Cer¿¿¿¿n Site, El Salvador. [Masters Thesis]. University of Cincinnati; 2012. Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1337287040

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