ETHNOECOLOGY IN PRE-HISPANIC CENTRAL AMERICA: FOODWAYS AND HUMAN-PLANT INTERFACES Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • AbstractIn recent years, researchers in pre-Hispanic Central America have used new approaches that greatly amplify and enhance evidence of plants and their uses. This paper presents a case study from Puerto Escondido, located in the lower Ulúa River valley of Caribbean coastal Honduras. We demonstrate the effectiveness of using multiple methods in concert to interpret ethnobotanical practice in the past. By examining chipped-stone tools, ceramics, sediments from artifact contexts, and macrobotanical remains, we advance complementary inquiries. Here, we address botanical practices “in the home,” such as foodways, medicinal practices, fiber crafting, and ritual activities, and those “close to home,” such as agricultural and horticultural practices, forest management, and other engagements with local and distant ecologies. This presents an opportunity to begin to develop an understanding of ethnoecology at Puerto Escondido, here defined as the dynamic relationship between affordances provided in a botanical landscape and the impacts of human activities on that botanical landscape.

publication date

  • 2019