Anthropology Lecture Series: Understanding Prehistoric Nutrition and Plant Use
The USU Museum of Anthropology is pleased to present the first lecture in this year's Anthropology Lecture Series. Dr. Tim Riley, Curator of Archaeology at the Prehistoric Museum at USU Eastern, presents an illustrated lecture on Understanding Prehistoric Nutrition and Plant Use: Case Studies from Texas and the Colorado Plateau. Dr. Riley’s research focuses on paleoethnobotany, or the study of past human use of plants for subsistence and other aspects of material culture. This lecture provides an overview of the research process by which archaeologists study coprolites, or preserved fecal matter, to determine nutrition and diet choice in past societies. Each coprolite represents the undigested remains of a small number of meals. This allows for the reconstruction of the menus behind these meals. The lecture introduces the incredible range of analyses possible on coprolite specimens followed by two case studies, one from Texas and one from the Colorado Plateau.