Charcoal Identification as Means of Central California Landscape Reconstruction
Paleoethnobotany is an archaeological research method which allows plant remains surviving from the archaeological past to be studied and identified. In doing so, researchers can analyze plants that were used by Native peoples and deposited in sites pre-European colonization. Utilizing this methodology, past landscapes can be reconstructed as means to determine how Native peoples interacted with their surroundings, as well as to hypothesize about landscape change over time. Using paleoethnobotanical methods, I will systematically study recovered charred wood remains from a prehistoric, Central California archaeological site and create a charcoal reference collection for the area. This project will allow me to identify the representative taxa (populations of organisms) of the site with the intent that these plants may be restored to the region in the future. By completing this project, it is my hope that a better understanding of human interactions with the pre-Contact Bay Area landscape can be reached.
Message to Sponsor
- Major: Anthropology, Native American Studies
- Sponsor: JSB SURF fellow
- Mentor: Kent Lightfoot, Anthropology