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News: Canadian archaeologists discover ancient hydroponic farm for growing arrowroot

News:  Canadian archaeologists discover ancient hydroponic farm for growing arrowroot

 

Arrowroot potatoes, known as wapato by the First Nations peoples of Canada was an important source of food throughout most of North America . . . with the exception of arid regions of the western USA and northern Mexico.   We have long suspected that the Creek ancestors located their towns and villages near wetlands to grow Arrowroot, but it is not a subject that has particularly interested archaeologists in the Southeast.  Canadian archaeologists have a different attitude toward such things and have actually unearthed a rather sophisticated hydroponic farming complex near Vancouver, BC.  Here is the link to the article:

http://www.histecho.com/ancient-underwater-potato-garden-found-in-canada/

Sagittaria latifolia

The ancestors of the Muskogean and Uchee peoples cultivated Sagittaria latifolia and Zamia Integrifolia rundinacea.   All parts of the Zamia Integrifolia are poisonous.   Generically, Arrowroot is a starch obtained from the rhizomes (rootstock) of several tropical plants, traditionally Maranta arundinacea, but also North American Arowroot (Sagittaria latifolia) and    Florida arrowroot (Zamia integrifolia), and tapioca from cassava (Manihot esculenta), which is often labelled as arrowroot. Polynesian arrowroot or pia (Tacca leontopetaloides), and Japanese arrowroot (Pueraria lobata), also called kudzu, are used in similar ways.

 

History

Archaeological studies in the Americas show evidence of arrowroot cultivation as early as 7,000 years ago. The name may come from aru-aru (meal of meals) in the language of the Caribbean Arawak people, for whom the plant was a staple. It has also been suggested that the name comes from arrowroot’s use in treating poison-arrow wounds, as it draws out the poison when applied to the site of the injury.

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.

2 Comments

    • Yes, it does! The archaeologists, who participated in the PBS documentary on the Track Rock Archaeological Zone were all from countries, other than the USA. I was the only American on the cast.

      Reply

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