Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Site Catchment Analysis of Paleoethnobotanical Data from Chumash Sites in the Santa Monica Mountains, California
by Rodriguez, Jessica, M.A., California State University, Los Angeles, 2020, 123; 28030472
Abstract (Summary)

The relationship between humans and plants has been constant and dynamic. People have used them for necessities, such as sustenance, housing, tools, fire, clothing, and medicine. They have used plants’ psychotropic properties and plant offerings to connect with the metaphysical. The Indigenous inhabitants of the Southern California coast integrated the local flora into their daily-life, ceremonial, and liminal spheres.

Human behavior can be interpreted through the floral environment via analysis of chemical, micro-, and macro-botanical remains from archaeological contexts.

Macrobotanical data from seeds, recovered from Satwiwa/Rancho Sierra Vista (CA-VEN-1155/H) and Ta’lopop (CA-LAN-229) were used in this study. I compared the seed data set from CA-VEN-1155/H with previously analyzed materials from Ta’lopop (CA-LAN-229) with early 20th century vegetation maps to create a catchment area and assess the availability of identified plant taxa. Analysis of the datasets indicates that the vegetation communities surrounding the sites were capable of producing the archaeologically recovered plant taxa. Supporting the site catchment notion that Chumash gatherers were able to easily access desired plant materials used for sustenance and other necessities. Additionally, it was concluded that the majority of taxa identified from the Satwiwa seed assemblage was a result of cultural use, with the exceptions of morning glory (Calystegia spp.) and laurel sumac (Malosma laurina).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Vellanoweth, René L.
Commitee: Brady, James, Hammett, Julia E., Baker, Beth
School: California State University, Los Angeles
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 82/4(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, American history
Keywords: California plants, Chumash, Decolonizing archaeology, Paleoethnobotany, Santa Monica Mountains, Site catchment analysis
Publication Number: 28030472
ISBN: 9798684654190
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