Farming and Food Insecurity in the Mississippian Central Illinois River Valley: Metric Data on Maize Kernels & Cupules as a Means to Establish the Number and Types of Varieties

Poster Session
GRACER, Allison - University of California-Santa Barbara
Amber VANDERWARKER - University of California-Santa Barbara
Gregory WILSON - University of California-Santa Barbara

Recent archaeobotanical data from sites spanning the Mississippian period in the CIRV reveal that maize production increased throughout this period.  This research seeks to determine if production increases involved the introduction of new varieties of maize as a component of agricultural intensification.  I present metric data on kernels and cupules from four sites dating A. D. 1100-1300. Preliminary data suggest that initial production increases (seen during the Eveland and Orendorf phases) were not accompanied by the adoption of additional varieties.  I hypothesize that the data will show that it was not until the subsequent Larson phase that a new type of maize was introduced into the cropping cycle.