Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News

BRADSHAW FOUNDATION - LATEST NEWS

 

Earliest use of potatoes in North America

04 Jul 2017
Share on Facebook

An article by Swati Bhasin on ibtimes.com - Utah's Potato Valley Was Feeding People 10,000 Years Ago - reports on the earliest documented use of potatoes in North America.

Earliest use of potatoes in North America

Lisbeth Louderback, assistant professor of anthropology and curator of archaeology at the Natural History Museum of Utah, stands behind large stone metates, the grindstones on which ancient Native Americans processed their food. She discovered microscopic potato granules on 10,900-year-old stone tools in Escalante, Utah. Image: University of Utah.

Researchers from the Natural History Museum of Utah and Red Butte Garden at the University of Utah have discovered potato starch residues in the crevices of a 10,900-year-old stone tool in Escalante, Utah. To early pioneer settlers, the Escalante area was known as the 'Potato Valley'.

 

The report, published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, is probably the first archaeological study to identify a spud-bearing species native to the southwestern United States - Solanum jamesii - an important part of the ancient human diets.

The potatoes we eat today are varieties of a single species, Solanum tuberosum, domesticated in the South American Andes more than 7,000 years ago, and now seen here at a supermarket in Kiev, Ukraine. Image: Reuters/Gleb Garanich.

The study demonstrates that starch granules of Solanum jamesii extracted from ground stone tools establish wild potato use as early as 10,900 - 10,100 calendar years B.P. in southern Utah. This discovery is the earliest documented use of potatoes in North America.

Earliest use of potatoes in North America

Lisbeth Louderback on site. Image: University of Utah.

Lisbeth Louderback, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Utah and curator of archeology at the Natural History Museum of Utah and senior author of the study, states that this potato could be just as important as those we eat today not only in terms of a food plant from the past but as a potential food source for the future. 

 
Article continues below
 

The potatoes we eat today are varieties of a single species, Solanum tuberosum, domesticated in the South American Andes more than 7,000 years ago. The study did not clearly establish a link between S.tuberosum and S. jamesii, a wild species found in the shady shelter of oaks, sagebrush and piñon pines across the Four Corners region of the southwestern U.S.

The study highlights the use of S. jamesii, also called 'Four Corners Potato', by several Native American tribes - Apache, Hopi, Kawaik, Navajo, Southern Paiute, Tewa, Zia and Zuni. The tribal groups apparently used various cooking and processing techniques - boiling the potatoes, grinding them into flour or yeast, and mixing the potatoes with clay - to reduce bitterness.

The researchers collected evidence from ethnographic literature, stone tools, and modern gardeners to show that Utahans have used the species intermittently for over 10,000 years. They are now trying to find out if S. jamesii was the first example of a plant domesticated in the western U.S. 

Note from the Editor: Interesting to see the rock art at the excavation site: looking forward to see further analysis of the art in relation to the archaeological research.

Visit the Rock Art of Moab, Utah:
http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/america/moab/index.php

COMMENTS

 
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
FACEBOOK UPDATES
** Like Page below to receive our articles on Facebook **
LATEST NEWS ARTICLES
 
LATEST ROCK ART
LATEST CAVE PAINTINGS
LATEST PALEOANTHROPOLOGY
01 Nov 2017
LATEST ARCHAEOLOGY
LATEST ANTHROPOLOGY
LATEST WORLD HERITAGE
Bradshaw FoundationAboutiShopBook ReviewSite MapMailing ListDonateFacebookTwitterContact
If you have enjoyed visiting this section of the website please consider adding a link
Bradshaw Foundation © MMXI
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Join the free Mailing List Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Birnin Kudu Rock Art Center Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Baja California Film Coso Range Talking Stone Film Nevada Oregon Territory Moab, Utah Clovis First Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Ian Wilson Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Avebury Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Introduction Peterborough Petroglyphs Western Canadian Rock Art Writing-On-Stone Wuikinuxv Territory Dinosaur Provincial Park Archive Index Huashan Rock Art Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Rouffignac Cave Portable Art Defining Rock Art Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Preservation & Education Dr. V. S. Wakankar Articles on India Rock Art Contemporary Art Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Scandinavian Rock Art Archive Scandinavian Introduction Alta Rock Art Norway Rock Art in Finland Tanum Rock Art Sweden Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Banksy Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation