This summer I traveled to Costa Rica to participate in archaeological excavations of possibly the oldest known house structure in Central America. I have worked as a paleoethnobotanist previously in El Salvador and Belize, so I was excited to bring my expertise to an area nearby that has yet to fully embrace macro botanical analysis of plant remains. While in Costa Rica, I collected over 400 soil samples designated for a variety of botanical analyses including macro remains, pollen, and phytoliths. I learned that macro remain recovery can actually be quite productive in this region, despite its lack of application by archaeologists here thus far. My results will reveal much-needed details about what people were eating in the past in an area that experienced remarkable societal longevity despite frequent climatic events such as volcanic eruptions and tropical storms.
August 30, 2018