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Title: Starch Pathways
Contributor(s): Beck, Wendy Elizabeth  (author); Torrence, Robin (author)
Publication Date: 2006
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Abstract: Understanding the natural processes responsible for the formation of starch within plants and how they lead to differences in the starch granules, as described in Chapter 2, establishes a useful baselinefor archaeological research. The next step is to build up knowledge about how and in what form starch might have entered the archaeological record in order to select appropriate sampling strategies and efficient methods for retrieving starch (e.g., Rossenet al. 1996; Spicer 1991). Furthermore, the archaeological interpretation of ancient starch relies on an understanding of the potential relationships between human plant use and starch granules.Archaeologists use knowledge about the relationships between people and plants in the present in order to reconstruct past processes. In our case, it is essential to consider the cultural factors thatcould have affected the quality, quantity, location, and spatial patterning of ancient starch. Relevant behaviours to consider include factors such as the following: (1) the modification of vegetationthrough burning, clearing, tilling, ploughing, and cropping; (2) the selection of starch food sources or raw materials; and (3) methods of treatment, such as the processing and consumption of foods or the manufacture, use, and discard of tools. The need to understand cultural formation processes poses a serious methodological challenge that is just beginning to be met by relevant research. This chapter identifies the types of cultural factors that are important for starch research, highlights relevant research, and identifies priorities for future work.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Ancient Starch Research, p. 53-74
Publisher: Left Coast Press Inc
Place of Publication: Walnut Creek, California
ISBN: 1598740180
Field of Research (FOR): 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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