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The Plant-People Relationship in Ancient Central Asia

The Plant-People Relationship in Ancient Central Asia

Archaeology Lecture by Elizabeth Brite, Purdue University

Friday, May 10, 2019
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Fowler A222

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This talk explores the recent proliferation of studies on the plant-people relationship in ancient Central Asia. Over the last 25 years, significant data sets of ancient plant remains and other dietary indicators have emerged from major and minor archaeological sites across the region. Many of the studies that have produced these data pursue a wide-ranging picture of the transmission of domesticated plants across cultures and emphasize the role of the Silk Road in shaping food globalization in prehistory. Contrasting these are other studies that examine the local, embedded, and indigenous facets of ancient plant usage and domestication within Central Asia itself. Both perspectives capture fascinating aspects of ancient human-environment dynamics in Central Asia using novel approaches. They also mirror contemporary discourse about globalization and its implications for human societies. This talk will explore these bodies of emerging scholarship and present information on new research in Central Asia aimed at addressing some of the recent trends.

Elizabeth Brite is a clinical assistant professor in the Honors College, Purdue University. She is also co-director of the Khorezm Ancient Agriculture Project in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan. Dr. Brite received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from UCLA in 2011.

Sponsor(s): Program on Central Asia, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology,