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3,800-year-old potato garden discovered in Canada
Dotted line represents the approximate historic extent of Pitt Polder wetlands.


OTTAWA.- Ancient spuds recently dug up on Canada's Pacific coast are blackened and surely unedible, but are the first proof, say researchers, that North American natives tended gardens at least 3,800 years ago.

The excavated potato patch on the ancestral lands of the Katzie tribe in British Columbia is "the first evidence" of gardening by local hunter-gatherers of the era, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances' December issue.

Archeologists led by Tanja Hoffmann and Simon Fraser University concluded that the inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest had engineered the wetland to amplify production of the wild food plant.

They installed a rock pavement that "formed a boundary for the cultivation" of the potatoes, which were found in growing position.

Also discovered at the site was close to 150 fire-hardened wood tool fragments, believed to have been the tips of "digging sticks."

Typically harvested from October to February, wapato was an important dietary source of starch through the winter months.

The archeological excavation recovered 3,768 wapato tubers, also called Indian potatoes.

"The remains were dark brown to black in color, and although only the exterior shell or skin survived on many, some also had the starchy material inside," said the study.


© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse





Today's News

January 1, 2017

Scottish National Gallery welcomes in the New Year with Turner exhibition

Bavarian State Painting Collections reopens branch gallery dedicated to the Golden Age of Venetian painting

Exhibition uses the color blue as a lens through which to explore art from ancient Egypt to the present

First major exhibition on Martin Johnson Heade in nearly 20 years on view at Milwaukee Art Museum

Extremely rare portrait by Annibale Carracci to be presented at TEFAF Maastricht

British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor opens his first exhibition in an Italian museum in 10 years

Objects regarded among the finest surviving works of ancient Roman silver on view in Houston

Sotheby's presents 'Boundless: Contemporary Art Auction'

3,800-year-old potato garden discovered in Canada

Pace Gallery presents a new series of work by Keith Sonnier

Exceptional landscape photography touches on questions regarding our experience of nature

Works by Leslie Thornton and James Richards on view at Kestner Gesellschaft

The Parrish Art Museum presents a new installation of the permanent collection

Media Art from the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection featured at University of Michigan Museum of Art

A brief history of humankind from the collections of the Israel Museum on view at Bundeskunsthalle

ZKM exhibition focuses on the work of Frei Otto

Opening in 2017: Studio 144, Southampton's landmark arts venue

Group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists on view ar Heather Gaudio Fine Art

Extraordinary history of the United States is brought to life in new exhibition

Art Rotterdam 2017: Eighteenth edition of surprisingly varied art fair to be held from Febuary 9 to 12

Art Cologne 2017 exhibitors announced

The Works on Paper Fair to return to the Royal Geographical Society 9-12 February

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