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Prehistoric Agricultural Systems in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River Basin, A.D. 800 to A.D. 1350

TitlePrehistoric Agricultural Systems in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River Basin, A.D. 800 to A.D. 1350
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsHart, JP, N. Sidell, A
JournalNortheast Anthropology
Volume52
Pagination1-30
Keywordsbean, chenoposium, little barley, maize, Prehistoric agriculture, squash, sunflower, West Bransh of the Susquehanna River
Abstract

Early Late Prehistoric (A.D. 800 - 1350) agicultural systems in the Eastern Woodlands of North America are best documented in the riverine interior. Other areas in the north, particularly east of the Allegheny Front, are relatively poorly understood. Recent excavations at the Memorial Park site, located in the valley of the Allegheny Front in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, produced information that adds to our understanding of early Late Prehistoric agricultural systems in the poorly understood region. The evidence indicates that agricultural systems at some sites included not only the maize, bean, squash triad, but also two varieties of domesticated chenopodium, sunflower, and cultivated little barley. Management systems included the use of stone hoes and large storage pits. The Memorial Park Site evidence indicates the importance of agricultural production prior to the appearance around A.D. 1350 of of shell-tempered pottery and large, planned villages in the West Branch Basin. Combined with information from contemporaneous West Branch sites, the Memoiral Park Site increases our knowledge of the mosaic of ealy Late Prehistoric agricultural systems in the Eastern Woodlands.