2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Applying the Niche Breadth Model to the Eastern Agricultural Complex: A Deductive Analysis
Hazar H. Khidir
Dr. Amber Johnson, Faculty Mentor

Plant intensification in the eastern portion of North America involves a variety of pre-maize cultigens collectively called the Eastern Agricultural Complex (EAC). The archaeological record for eastern North America shows that there is intraregional, temporal variation in the introduction of specified cultigens in this complex as well as in the intensification process of these cultigens. To explain the pattern of agricultural development in eastern North America, the projections of the niche breadth generalization are applied to this region and the validity of the predictions made by the generalization is tested. Data derived from the archaeological record for eastern North America are examined and sites that had evidence documenting the dates of key events in the trajectory toward agriculture are used to analyze the predictions of the niche breadth generalization. The generalization is found to most successfully predict the pattern of intensification of oily and starchy EAC plant species.

Keywords: Agriculture, Archaeology, Eastern Agricultural Complex

Topic(s):Anthropology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 304-2
Location: MG 2001
Time: 1:15

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