Maize History in Central New York

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John Hart, PhD, New York State Museum

John Hart, PhD, New York State Museum

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  • Much of the research has focused on charred cooking residues adhering to the interior of pottery sherds.
  • The residues are from 14 sites located in central New York.

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  • 1. Learning from Pottery:Maize History in Central New York by John P. Hart Research & Collections Division New York State Museum
  • 2. Traditionally…it was thought that maize was adopted in central NewYork around A.D. 1000 based on the recovery of maizemacrofossils over the course of much of the twentiethcentury.
  • 3. Charred Cooking residue
  • 4. Research over the last decade hasshown that various microfossils can berecovered from charred cookingresidue:• Phytoliths• Starch• LipidsThe residues can also be AMS datedproviding direct association of dates withthe microfossils.
  • 5. Maize & Phytoliths
  • 6. Rondel phytoliths recovered from cooking residue
  • 7. Indigenous Eastern N. Grass Am. Maize Indigenous Grass 15 0 Eastern N. Am. Maize 0 24 Residue 4 17 Archaeological Maize 0 9 Mexican Maize 0 29John P. Hart, and R. G. Matson 2009. The Use of Multiple Discriminant Analysis in Classifying Prehistoric PhytolithAssemblages Recovered from Cooking Residues. Journal of Archaeological Science 36:74-83.
  • 8. Results of Cooking Residue AnalysesSite Cal 2σ range (median probability)1 Phytolith resultsScaccia 1256 (1096) 998 B.C. SquashVinette 1 790 (638) 519 B.C. No phytolithsVinette 1 399 (296) 208 B.C. MaizeFelix Zone 5 376 (285) 197 B.C. Squash?Vinette 2 39 B.C. A.D. (40) 1192 MaizeWickham 2 A.D. 263 (391) 4302 No phytolithsSimmons A.D. 349 (448) 540 Wild riceWestheimer 2 A.D. 393 (475) 544 MaizeFelix Zone 4 A.D. 432 (510) 5752 MaizeFortin 2 zone 3 A.D. 434 (557) 6132 Maize, squash, sedgeWickham 3 A.D. 568 (619) 6552 Maize, wild rice?, squash, sedgeKipp Island 3 A.D. 600 (630) 6552 Maize, wild rice, squash, sedgeSimmons A.D. 594 (645) 683 MaizeFelix Zone 4 A.D. 608 (646) 6682 Maize, squash?Wickham 3 A.D. 681 (792) 889 Wild rice, maize?, sedgeHunters Home A.D. 718 (805) 8802 Maize, wild rice, squashStreet A.D. 892 (994) 1117 MaizeKlock A.D. 1327 (1431) 1475 MaizeGaroga A.D. 1417 (1465) 1626 MaizeSmith-Pagerie A.D. 1408 (1448) 1618 No phytoliths1 CALIB 5.0 (Stuiver et al. 1998).2Pooled mean of multiple dates (Ward and Wilson 1978) Hart, John P., Hetty Jo Brumbach, and Robert Lusteck. 2007. Extending the Phytolith Evidence for Early Maize (Zea mays ssp. mays) and Squash (Cucurbita sp.) in Central New York. American Antiquity 72:563-583.
  • 9. A.D. 500 250 B.C. 150 B.C. – A.D. 500
  • 10. Cooking Residues and Isotopes
  • 11. • Maize is a C4 pathway with an average δ13C of around –11.2‰.• C3 pathway plants have an average δ13C of around –27.0‰.• Analysts had assumed a linear relationship between the proportion of maize cooked and residue δ13C. The higher the proportion of maize the less negative should be the residue δ 13C.• Some analysts had suggested a δ13C value ≥-24 indicated maize presence.• The recovery of maize phytoliths from residues with highly negative δ13C raised doubts about this assumption.
  • 12. Experimental Residues 1
  • 13. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 -5 -10 -15 δ13C -20 -25 -30 -35 Percent MaizeComparison of experimental δ13C values to a threshold for maize presence of -22‰(adjusted for industrial era atmospheric carbon). (X= deer meat and maize flour, ■and ▲ = wild rice and maize flours, ○ = Chenopodium and maize kernels).Hart, John P., William A. Lovis, Janet K. Schulenberg, and Gerald R. Urquhart. 2007. Paleodietary Implications fromStable Carbon Isotope Analysis of Experimental Cooking. Journal of Archaeological Science 34:804–813.
  • 14. • The amount of carbon in resources varies.• The δ13C value depends on the amount of carbon contributed to residue formation by each resource.
  • 15. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 -5 0 -10 -5 -15 -10 Model Model -20 -15 δ13C Minimumδ13C Minimum Maximum Maximum -25 -20 Observed Observed -30 -25 -35 -30 -40 -35 Percent Maize Percent Maize a b 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0 -5 Model vs. observed for two-part -10 mixes of maize flour with (a) -15 Model Chenopodium flour, (b) wild riceδ13C Minimum -20 Maximum Observed flour, (c) deer meat. -25 -30 -35 Percent Maize c
  • 16. a) Dry Maize b) Green Maize 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0 0 -5 -5 -10 -10 -15 Model -15 Modelδ13C δ13C Minimum Minimum -20 Maximum -20 Maximum -25 -25 -30 -30 -35 -35 Percent Maize Percent Maize a b Model δ13C values of mixtures of hypothetical slurries of equal parts deer, chenopod, and wild rice mixed with increments of (a) dry maize and (b) green (wet) maize.
  • 17. Conclusions Experiment 1• It is not possible to interpret δ13C values on any given residue without already knowing what was cooked in the pot.• A highly negative δ13C value on a residue does not indicate maize was not cooked in a pot.
  • 18. Experimental Residues 2
  • 19. Bulk δ13C values by percent maize for 60-minute suspension/solution samples (●=deer and hominy,▲=hominy and wild rice, ■= maize kernel and wild rice, ♦ = corn meal and wild rice). The horizontalline is the -22‰ cut point following Morton and Schwarcz (2003) as the bulk δ13C value at whichmaize is taken to be represented in a residue adjusted for modern, industrial-era average δ13Cvalues for C3 and C4 plants Hart, John P., Gerald R. Urquhart, Robert S. Feranec, and William A. Lovis. 2009. Nonlinear Relationship Between Bulk δ 13C and Percent Maize in Carbonized Cooking Residues and the Potential of False Negatives in Detecting Maize. Journal of Archaeological Science 36:2206–2212.
  • 20. Model (lines) vs. observed (points) δ13C values for 60% wild rice and 40% maize mixture(open symbols=suspension/solution, solid symbols=foam; triangles=kernels,diamonds=corn meal, squares=hominy; lines=model; solid=corn meal, dotted= kernels,dashed=hominy).
  • 21. Conclusions Experiment 2• The amount of carbon contributed by a resource to a residue depends on the mobilization of carbon from each resource, which depends on: – time and – the form of maize being cooked (whole kernel, hominy, meal.• Whole kernel maize and hominy are masked by the C3 resource, whereas corn meal masks the C3 resource.
  • 22. Isotope Chronology
  • 23. r = .675 (p<<.005) r = .793 (p<<.005)Hart, John P., William A. Lovis, Robert J. Jeske, and John D. Richards. 2012. The Potential of Bulk δ 13C on EncrustedCooking Residues as Independent Evidence for Regional Maize Histories. American Antiquity 77:315–325.
  • 24. Southeastern Wisconsin/Northeastern Illinois
  • 25. Lower Michigan Peninsula
  • 26. Pottery Technology,Isotopes, and Chronology
  • 27. • For any given pottery vessel size, thinner walls are: – more efficient conductors of heat, and – less subject to failure as a result of thermal shock.
  • 28. 0 .9 0 .8 Average Wall Thickness (mm)/Diameter (cm) 0 .7 0 .6 0 .5 0 .4 0 .3 0 .2 0 .1 0 .0 -1 4 0 0 -1 2 0 0 -1 0 0 0 -8 0 0 -6 0 0 -4 0 0 -2 0 0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 C a lib ra t e d D a t e (B . C . / A . D . ) A scatter plot of average wall thickness in mm divided by diameter in cm by time. The solid line is LOWESS smoothing, and the dashed line is DWLS smoothing.Hart, John P., and Hetty Jo Brumbach. 2009. On Pottery Change and Northern Iroquoian Origins: An Assessment from the FingerLakes Region of Central New York. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 28:367-381.
  • 29. δ13C and Pottery• Bulk stable carbon isotope (δ13C) values were obtained on 48 residues from 14 sites with components dating from ca. cal. 300 B.C. to A.D. 1550 in central New York.• Thickness adjusted for vessel diameter was for the 227 sherds from 17 sites with components dating from ca. cal. 300 B.C. to A.D. 1600.
  • 30. General site locations. Black dots denote sites producing both bulk δ13C and wallthickness data. Grey dots indicate sites producing only wall thickness data.
  • 31. r = - .924 (p<<.005) r = –0.924, p<<0.005 r = - .960 (p<<.005) r = –0.960, p<<0.005Distance weighted least squares (DWLS) trend lines for adjusted pottery wall thickness (solid line) and bulk δ13C values by calibrated AMS median probability dates on charred cooking residues.Hart, John P. 2012. Pottery Wall Thinning as a Consequence of Increased Maize Processing: A Case Study from Central NewYork. Journal of Archaeological Science (2012): DOI:10.1016/j.jas.2012.06.006.
  • 32. Conclusions• Maize was adopted in central New York by cal. 300 B.C.• Maize began to become an important resource in regional diets 500 years later, around ca. cal. A.D. 200.• Single lines of evidence cannot be used to build robust regional histories of maize use.
  • 33. Collaborators• Hetty Jo Brumbach (University at Albany)• Robert S. Feranec (New York State Museum)• Robert J. Jeske (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)• William A. Lovis (Michigan State University)• Robert Lusteck (University of Minnesota)• R. G. Matson (University of British Columbia)• John D. Richards (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)• Janet K. Schulenberg (The Pennsylvania State University)• Robert G. Thompson (University of Minnesota)• Gerald R. Urquhart (Michigan State University)