Chenopodium as a Prehistoric Domesticate in Eastern North America: Evidence from Russell Cave, Alabama

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Science  12 Oct 1984:
Vol. 226, Issue 4671, pp. 165-167
DOI: 10.1126/science.226.4671.165


Approximately 50,000 carbonized fruits of the species Chenopodium berlandieri recovered from Russell Cave, Alabama, and dating to 1975 ± 55 before the present, exhibit a set of interrelated morphological characteristics reflecting domestication (thin testa, truncate margin, rectanguloid fruit cross section, ligulate cotyledons, and increased internal fruit volume). These morphological characteristics establish the presence of a domestic variety of Chenopodium in the eastern United States by 2000 years ago.