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Cuban Archaeology in the Caribbean$
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Ivan Roksandic

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400028

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400028.001.0001

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Diagnosis of the Processing Methods of Starch-Rich Foods in Archaeological Artifacts

Diagnosis of the Processing Methods of Starch-Rich Foods in Archaeological Artifacts

An Experimental Model

(p.54) 4 Diagnosis of the Processing Methods of Starch-Rich Foods in Archaeological Artifacts
Cuban Archaeology in the Caribbean

Roberto Rodríguez Suárez

Jorge Ezra Cruz Palma

Guillermo Acosta Ochoa

University Press of Florida

Understanding the importance of plant food in the subsistence of local populations has been greatly enhanced by the study of starch grains that are specific to the Caribbean. Plants constituted an important part in the diet of the pre-Hispanic populations of Cuba in their various stages of development. However, weather conditions have not in general allowed the preservation of their traces in archaeological sites that would enable researchers to reconstruct nutritionary intakes of the past populations. As a result, a new method in analysis of food residues on artifacts made of stone, as well as in sediments, ceramics, and other materials, can make an important contribution in our understanding of the dietary activities of archaeological populations. Furthermore, understanding changes that the plant starch undergoes during thermal and mechanical processing is an important empirical tool for future analyses. In this chapter, the authors examine the criteria that can be used in the identification and analysis of starch grains of phaseolus (common bean) in archaeological record.

Keywords:   Starch Grain, Caribbean, Pre-Hispanic, Cuba, Processing

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