Highdensity Floodplain Weeds

High-density floodplain weeds are wild, nondo-mesticated plants that thrive in fallow fields, on the margins of active agricultural fields, and in floodplains. Their locations are predictable, although there is a small search cost associated with their use, and they provide much lower yields per hectare than domesticated plants. Harvesting costs for these plants are higher than for domesticated plants, entailing more activity to strip or beat seed heads into containers, possibly with attendant losses to scattering. Subsequent processing steps include parching to remove closely fitting glumes, bracts and capsules, and, in some cases, shelling, prior to subsequent grinding or cooking. Examples of this kind of plant include pigweed (Amaranthus sp.), goosefoot (Chenopodium sp.), tansey mustard (Descurainia sp.), and sacaton grass (Sporobolus sp.). The associated tool technology includes baskets for collection and storage, and parching or winnowing trays. Depending on the strategy, it is possible that chipped-stone tools were used in the collection process. Where grinding was desired, basin metates and small manos were also used.

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