Rivers of Change

Rivers of Change : Essays on Early Agriculture in Eastern North America

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Rivers of Change, awarded the James Henry Breasted Prize by the American Historical Association, is the first comprehensive consideration of eastern North America as an independent, primary center of plant domestication and agriculture. Focusing on data derived from the expanding discipline of archaeobotany, Bruce D. Smith presents a provocative alternative theory of how prehistoric North American societies developed from hunting and gathering systems to food-producing economies. Smith has written a new preface for this paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 318 pages
  • 214.4 x 283 x 18.8mm | 748.44g
  • Smithsonian Books
  • Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press
  • Washington, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 1588340465
  • 9781588340467

About Bruce D. Smith

Bruce D. Smith, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
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Review quote

'[T]he best single source on the questions, methods, and database pertaining to the origins of plant domestication and food production in eastern North America.' (American Anthropologist)

'[T]he most insightful, broadly cast examination of pre-maize candidates for domestication yet published.' (American Antiquity)

'Smith has put the pieces of the puzzle together and made a compelling case for recognizing the Eastern Woodlands as an independent center of domestication.' (Journal of Anthropological Research)

'This book stands as a major statement by a noted North American archaeologist and is recommended to anyone interested in crop origins.' (Quarterly Review of Biology)
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Table of contents


Chapter 1. Intoduction: Fields of Opportunity, Rivers of Change


Chapter 2. The Floodplain Weed Theory of Plant Domestication in Eastern North America

Chapter 3. The Independent Domesticationof Indigenous Seed-Bearing Plants in Eastern North America

Chapter 4. Is It an Indigene or a Foreigner?


Chapter 5. The Role of Chenopodium as a Domesticate in Premaize Garden Systems of the Eastern United States

Chapter 6. Chenopodium berlandieri ssp. Jonesianum: Evidence for a Hopewellian Domesticate form Ash Cave, Ohio

Chapter 7. The Economic Potential of Chenopodium berlandieri in Prehistoric Eastern North America

Chapter 8. The Economic Potential of Iva annua in Prehistoric Eastern North America

Chapter 9. Hopewellian Farmers of Eastern North America

Chapter 10. In Search of Choupichoul, the Mystery Grain of the Natchez


Chapter 11. Origins of Agriculture in Eastern North America

Chapter 12. Prehistoric Plant Husbandry in Eastern North America
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