Bison overlooked in domestication of grain crops

Bison overlooked in domestication of grain crops

As ecosystem engineers, bison have been hiding in plain sight for the past 40 years, since archaeologists first discovered that several native plants were domesticated in eastern North America. New research by Natalie Mueller, assistant professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences, explains the connection, published July 8 in Nature Plants.
Women shaped cuisine, culture of ancient Cahokia

Women shaped cuisine, culture of ancient Cahokia

Long before corn was king, the women of Cahokia’s mysterious Mississippian mound-building culture were using their knowledge of domesticated and wild food crops to feed the thousands of Native Americans who flocked to what was then North America’s largest city, suggests a new book by a paleoethnobiologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “Feeding Cahokia” sets the record straight on America’s first farmers while offering a roadmap for rediscovering the highly nutritious native foods they once cultivated, including a North American cousin of quinoa.