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:
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.
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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