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Lecture 21 Part 2 – Subsistence-Settlement Patterns- Floral Remains

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Western University
Anthropology 2229F/G
Christopher Ellis

Lecture 21 Part 2 – Subsistence-Settlement Patterns: Floral Remains  How to separate pollen o Strong acids  E.g. hydrochloric acid  Gets rid of the sediment, leaving the pollen o Can be found in harsh environment vs. other artifacts like bone o Mounted on slides, can determine species  Count the number of species you find  Calculate relative percentages  Why use pollen analysis o Not always from human activity, more for environmental reconstruction  Exception: track down earliest evidence of maize  Need to know what is available to see what the people were selecting for food  Limitations, etc.  E.g. if there are few edible resources, population density was low, people would have to travel to have enough food to make a living, etc.  Evidence consistent with the archaeological record o Types of vegetation coverage (coniferous, boreal, deciduous, etc.) o Can be used to date sites  Pollen assemblages can be used to cross date with the archaeological record  What we need to be wary of… o Just because the pollen represents a certain percentage, doesn’t mean that is exactly the percentage of trees  Pollen frequency doesn’t equal tree/vegetation percentages o Reasons:  Preservation  Pollen from some plants preserve better than others  Biases for certain species  Pollen Production  H
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