Bulbs and Prehistoric Peoples (and a bit off topic)

Joe Shaw jshaw@opuntiads.com
Fri, 17 Nov 2006 16:06:44 PST
Hi Gang,

I've put some links in this posting that will take you to Web articles about 
prehistoric humans and plant use.  Two that caught my attention concern the 
diets of Holocene peoples in Texas, and while not directly about bulbs, do 
mention the consumption of bulbs by ancient peoples.  After a little more 
research I realized that one of may favorite native plants (Camassia) was 
employed as a food source by Native Americans in historic times.

(Warnng-moving off topic now)

The information about Holocene peoples got me thinking about events in the 
news this week, about the initial efforts to determine the DNA sequence of 
Neanderthal humans.

I've put two news articles and two manuscripts online, the information was 
published this week in Science and Nature (leading science journals around 
the world).  The papers describe initial results from efforts to sequence 
the genome of Neanderthal humans (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis).  As 
expected, the results show that Neanderthals were darn similar to modern day 
humans at the DNA level.

The molecular clock method estimates how many changes accumulate in DNA 
sequences over time (in any given species).  By counting the small 
differences between modern humans and Neanderthal humans, the scientists 
estimate that our last common ancestor lived about 500,000 years ago--a 
figure that is in general agreement with archeological data.

To make it legal (for a bulb forum) I also speculate that Neanderthal 
humans, like prehistoric peoples everywhere, ate various bulbous and 
tuberous plants.

LINK:  Article Describing Camp Bowie Midden and Bulbs Found Therein

LINK:  Geophytes in the Diets of Holocene Peoples of Texas

LINK:  Camassia quamash, a Food Plant

LINK:  See Titles with Neanderthal in File Name (dated Nov. 17, 2006)



Conroe TX 

More information about the pbs mailing list