When asked “What did the Indians of Arkansas eat?”, most Arkansans answer “corn, beans, and squash.” While this triad of tropical crops does reflect staple foods for the late prehistoric agricultural peoples of the Southeast, they were only the latest addition to an already existing sophisticated system of land management and horticulture that stretched back thousands of years. According to Dr. Horton, “Long before the introduction of tropical crops such as maize (corn), the Indians of Arkansas were planting and tending multiple locally-domesticated crop plants. Known as the Eastern Agricultural Complex, these ancient domesticated and cultivated crops included Sump weed, may grass, little barley, sunflower, goosefoot, erect knotweed, and more. My talk focuses on the fascinating history of the domestication of native plant species by the pre-Columbian peoples of the Southeastern United States. I will also explore why the archeological record of Arkansas has been so critical to a broad array of research concerning plant domestication, and why Arkansas’ natural lands are so critical to the future of research into prehistoric crop domestication and crop genetics.”
As an archeologist, Horton specializes in Paleo Ethnobotany, the study of the relationship between people and plants. She has a special interest in the use of plants for technological purposes. Don’t miss this intriguing glimpse into the past, as Dr. Horton weaves a common-sense connection of earlier peoples and the plants they used.
When: Saturday August 25, 2018 2:00 p.m.
Where: Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area’s visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
For more information, call: 479-789-5000