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Early Maize in Northeastern North America: A Comment on Emerson and Colleagues

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 April 2021

John P. Hart
Affiliation:
Research and Collections Division, New York State Museum, Albany, NY 12230, USA
William A. Lovis
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, 355 Baker Hall, 655 Auditorium Drive, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA (lovis@msu.edu)
M. Anne Katzenberg
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada (katzenbe@ucalgary.ca)
Corresponding

Abstract

Emerson and colleagues (2020) provide new isotopic evidence on directly dated human bone from the Greater Cahokia region. They conclude that maize was not adopted in the region prior to AD 900. Placing this result within the larger context of maize histories in northeastern North America, they suggest that evidence from the lower Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River valley for earlier maize is “enigmatic” and “perplexing.” Here, we review that evidence, accumulated over the course of several decades, and question why Emerson and colleagues felt the need to offer opinions on that evidence without providing any new contradictory empirical evidence for the region.

En su publicación reciente, Emerson et al. (2020) proporcionan nueva evidencia isotópica en hueso humano directamente fechado por radiocarbono de la región del Greater Cahokia del oeste de Illinois central. Basado en estos datos, concluyen que el maíz (Zea mays ssp. Mays) no se adoptó en la región antes de 900 dC. Colocando este resultado dentro del contexto más amplio de las historias de maíz en el noreste de América del Norte, aportan evidencia empírica de la parte inferior del los Lagos Grande (Lower Great Lakes) y el valle del St. Lawrence River para el maíz mucho más temprano son “enigmáticos” y “desconcertantes”. Aquí revisamos esa evidencia multiproxi acumulada a lo largo de varias décadas y preguntamos por qué Emerson et al. sintió la necesidad de ofrecer opiniones sobre esa evidencia sin proporcionar ninguna evidencia empírica contradictoria y nueva en esa región.

Type
Comment
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Society for American Archaeology

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References

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