June 6, 2021
The Hopewell culture spanned 1CE-400 CE. It has been believed that the culture was fueled by maize, the staple food of the Mississippian civilization. New chemical analysis of human remains at Hopewell sites found that maize was not a staple part of their diet. The chemical components of the food we eat are present in our bones. Maize did not become important in the region the Hopewell inhabited until 900 CE.
The new research found that the Hopewell diet included locally domesticated plants such as goosefoot, sumpweed and erect knotweed. Since the Hopewell population was not concentrated in cities but we’re dispersed across a vast landscape, they did not need a large scale maize production economy.
The research is published in American Antiquity.
The great Brad Lepper published this report in the Columbus Dispatch https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/columns/2021/05/16/no-corn-menu-ancient-ohioans/5066655001/
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