- Graduate Student
- University College London
Paleoethnobotanical Training at the Berry Site Field School, Morganton Town, NC
The Berry site archaeological field school aims to study Native American culture and community in upper Catawba Valley of western North Carolina during the 15th, 16th centuries ... This year excavations will take place at Fort San Juan, A Spanish garrison built at the Native American site of Joara in western North Carolina dated about 16th century. Prof. Gayle J. Fritz, palaeoethnobotanical expert from Washington University in St. Louis, will work as part of the project and set up her microscope station for preliminary sorting and analysis of these archaeobotanical samples in the Project Laboratory at Western Piedmont Community College. Besides receiving training in systematic archaeological field work techniques in this project, I will also gain more training in palaeoethnobotanical analysis, which is an invaluable experience for my own research interests in Thailand. After the field school, I plan to undertake supervised palaeoethnobotanical research with Prof. Fritz in the Washington Unversity Library for an additional two months.
Comparative Palaeoethnobotanical Study on the Origin of Agriculture
Palaeoethnobotanists use plant remains as indicators of many social and environmental aspects of the past, from plant and people interaction to other forms of environmental adaptability. Macrobotanical identification is among the few plant identification methods that allows us to identify plant remains on a species level and gives archaeologists a clearer view of the past. However, the analysis of macrobotanical remains in Thailand and Southeast Asia still requires development of a comparative plant database and proper research techniques. Recovering botanical remains requires special training and management , and the lack of palaeoethnobotanical experts in Thailand has resulted in the inadequate study of subsistence patterns in the past decades. The training at The University of Toronto with Prof. Crawford will provide a full range of study, from the identification to the management of the samples after the excavation process. I can also participate in the Origins of Agriculture in Ontario (OAS) project for the training and learn about the archaeology of Southwest China (Yunnan) with Dr. Alice Yao, giving me important clues about the relationship between this area and northern Thailand. This interdisciplinary training will give me a better understanding of how long distance interaction influenced agricultural technologies, food consumption practices, and ultimately social change between East and Southeast Asia.