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New Dates from Old Collections: The Roundtop Site and Maize-Beans-Squash Agriculture in the Northeast

TitleNew Dates from Old Collections: The Roundtop Site and Maize-Beans-Squash Agriculture in the Northeast
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsHart, JP
JournalNorth American Archaeologist
Volume21
Pagination7-17
KeywordsAMS dating, bean, maize, Museum collections, New York, Roundtop site, squash
Abstract

The Roundtop site located in the Upper Susquehanna River Valley of New York has long been held to contain the earliest evidence for maize-beans-squash agriculture in the Northeast. In his reports on this site, Ritchie linked charred maize, beans, and squash remains with a radiocarbon date of A.D. 1070 + 60 and pottery associated with the early Owasco Carpenter Brook phase. Recent AMS dating of the domesticates indicates that there is no evidence for maize, beans, and squash co-occurring at the site before A.D. 1300. The dates are supported by pottery collections and Ritchie's lab notes. These results emphasize that site descriptions in the literature are interpretations not observations. These interpretations need to be carefully assessed before their incorporation into new analyses and syntheses. This can only be done if collections of artifacts, botanical and zoological remains, and field and lab notes are maintained by museums.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.2190/1M03-BNGJ-FFMY-YNMP
DOI10.2190/1M03-BNGJ-FFMY-YNMP