thumbnail

Accelerator radiocarbon dating of evidence for prehistoric horticulture in Illinois

Nature

By:
, , , , , , , , , and
DOI: 10.1038/308443a0

Links

Abstract

With the development of direct detection radiocarbon dating, which uses an accelerator as part of a highly selective mass spectrometer, it is now possible to determine the age of milligram samples of organic materials1-5. One application of accelerator dating is in evaluating scanty, sometimes controversial evidence for early horticulture throughout the world. We have now used the technique to date small samples of carbonized, cultivated plant remains from archaeological sites in Illinois. The results, reported here, establish (1) that squash was introduced by 7,000 yr ago, 2,500 yr before eastern North American records previously reported; (2) that horticulture involving indigenous plants had begun by 4,000 BP in eastern North America with domestication of Iva annua, a small-seeded annual; (3) that anomalous discoveries of Archaic period maize represent contaminants; and (4) that introduction of maize by initial Middle Woodland times (???2,000 BP) is questionable. ?? 1984 Nature Publishing Group.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Accelerator radiocarbon dating of evidence for prehistoric horticulture in Illinois
Series title:
Nature
DOI:
10.1038/308443a0
Volume
308
Issue:
5958
Year Published:
1984
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Nature
First page:
443
Last page:
446
Number of Pages:
4