Paleoethnobotany, as defined by Wikipedia, is “the study of remains of plants cultivated or used by man in ancient times, which have survived in archaeological contexts”. But what is it really, and how is it being studied in New Mexico? Pamela McBride, in a presentation from the New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies Outreach, will answer these questions and give some examples from her own work in a free presentation 1-2 p.m. Saturday, May 10 at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.
McBride, a paleoethnobotanist, will help the audience understand what the field of paleoethnobotany consists of, the primary plant remains that are collected from Southwestern archaeological sites, and how the findings can be interpreted. McBride will highlight unusual sites along with the archaeobotanical results from The Land Conveyance and Transfer Data Recovery Project conducted by Los Alamos National Laboratory on the Pajarito Plateau.
This program is suggested for teens and adults.
By giving her presentation, McBride hopes that it will help to enrich the audience’s understanding of how people sustained themselves both in prehistory and in more recent historic periods, she said.
McBride graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1990 with a BS in Anthropology and has been doing archaeobotanical analysis since 1988. She has worked in the Alentejo of Portugal on an Islamic period site and in all the Four Corners states of the Southwest.
She has had her own consulting business since 1994 and has worked at the Museum of New Mexico, Office of Archaeological Studies as a paleoethnobotanist since 1995. She is currently the director of the Paleoethnobotany Lab at OAS.
This event is free to attend, and no advance registration is required. For more information about this and other programs at PEEC, visit www.PajaritoEEC.org, email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org, or by call 505.662.0460.