Over the past 30 years, microscopic plant remains called phytoliths and starch grains have played an increasingly important role in helping archaeologists explore the past. Phytoliths are remnants of silica produced by plant cells. They resemble pieces of hard glass, and thus remain well-preserved when plants decay over time. Recently, this line of research has led to important discoveries such as the origins of the chili pepper in Venezuela, the reconstruction of the ancient Mayan landscape, and the plant diet of Neanderthals. Join Thomas Hart as he introduces you to the world of phytolith and starch grain analysis and illustrates how these commonly found microscopic relics can inform us about our past.
This program is open to adults and children ages 8 and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The program is free and advanced registration is not required. To contact the Museum, visit http://www.cac.uconn.edu/mnhcurrentcalendar.html or call 860-486-4460.
David C. Colberg
Connecticut State Museum of Natural History
Connecticut Archaeology Center
University of Connecticut
2019 Hillside Road, Unit 1023
Storrs, CT 06269-1023
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