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The Food the Ancient Chaco People Ate:
what the archeological record does and does not tell us
August 10, 2021 5:30pm MST
Zoom ID: 5458429500
Back in 1978, Karen co-founded the Castetter Laboratory for Ethnobotanical Studies at UNM with Mollie Struever Toll and Anne Calvert Cully. The lab undertook ethnobotanical analyses of plant remains from archeological sites all over New Mexico, mostly for the OCA at UNM and the Lab of Anthroplogy in Santa Fe. In 1988, Karen moved to Texas and got a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Texas where she studied taxonomy and biogeography of the Yucca species, which, by the way, are only native to the new world. She spent the rest of her career working on plant and natural resource conservation and retired in 2017 from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin, as Director of the Plant Conservation Program. She now volunteers as a lecturer for a variety of plant classes at the Wildflower Center, including general taxonomy, ethnobotany and economic botany. This year she also joined the IUCN species Red List Team to assess extinction threats for Yucca species.
The title of my talk is "The food the Ancient Chaco People ate - what the archeological record does and does not tell us," I will talk about how archeobotanists get plant remains from dirt at archeological sites and the ethnobotanical record we mine to connect plant remains found in sites to ancient lifeways, among other things, with a focus on the San Juan Basin.
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