New Lives for Ancient and Extinct Crops
New Lives for Ancient and Extinct Crops profiles nine plant species that were important contributors to human diets and had medicinal uses in antiquity: maygrass, chenopod, marshelder, agave, little barley, chia, arrowroot, little millet, and bitter vetch. Each chapter is written by a well-known scholar, who illustrates the global value of the ancient crop record to inform the present. From eastern and western North America, Mesoamerica, South America, western Asia, and south-central Asia, the contributors provide examples of the unexpected wealth of information available in the archaeological record about ancient and extinct crops.
“This volume represents an exciting new vista for archaeobotanists, including an implied challenge to other specialists to think about the modern applications of their scholarship.”—American Antiquity
“One could not find a more qualified list of contributors for the plants discussed in this volume.”—Kiva
“This is the first time that a collection like this, with its unique focus on ‘lost crops,’ has been brought together in this format. I can’t think of a better cast of experts to write on these plants.”—Catherine S. Fowler, co-compiler of Northern Paiute–Bannock Dictionary
“I do not know of any book that does what New Lives for Ancient and Extinct Crops does. Each of the authors summarizes the ethnobotany and archaeology of each plant from the perspective of how it could contribute to solving or ameliorating problems created by contemporary agricultural practices in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.”—Patty Jo Watson, co-author of The Origins of Agriculture: An International Perspective