The Maryland Archeobotanical Database centralizes information on plant artifacts into a searchable database and links this information to cultural, temporal, geographical and archaeological information.

The Database draws on macro-botanical data collected using soil flotation, waterscreening, and hand-collection techniques. These data are linked to radiocarbon assays of specific plant material and to site summaries (link) which provide general information on each archaeological site with links (where available) to images of plant artifacts and pdfs of the original archeobotanical reports.

The Maryland Archaeobotanical Database is our effort to organize and examine all existing archeobotanical data to gain a better understanding of the regional ethnobotany from all periods of Maryland’s cultural history.

The data are organized by physiographic province, river drainage, archaeological research unit, county, cultural period, sub-period, and date. The basic unit of analysis for the data is the archeobotanical sample, which generally consists of macrobotanical remains collected from a specific archaeological context, such as a pit feature or a stratified layer.

Access to the data is streamline by using a form, which allows the user to select temporal and spacial parameters including county, cultural time period, physiographic region and river drainage as well as by plant artifact type (nut, wood, seed, and specific cultigen type).

The primary goal of the Database is to capture information on carbonized plant remains preserved in archaeological contexts, and a full range of quantitative data are provided for this class of material. From some historic contexts such as wells and privy features, unusual environmental conditions have resulted in the preservation of non-carbonized plant remains (often including interesting and important food remains). The Database is less effective in capturing quantitative information associated with these non-carbonized remains. A comment section for each sample provides detailed description of culturally significant non-carbonized plant artifacts.

Click here to search the database.

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