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Analysis of plant microfossils in early European latrine fills from Russell, northern New Zealand

by admin last modified 2008-03-25 02:00 PM

Horrocks M, Best SB. 2004. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 8, 267-280.


Microfossil analysis of latrine fills from the early European (1830s) settlement of Russell, northern New Zealand, provides direct evidence for diet. Microfossils identified include pollen of maize (Zea mays), Brassicaceae (e.g., mustard, broccoli), Allium type (e.g., onion) and mint (Mentha), and starch grains of maize and potato (Solanum tuberosum). Wetland microfossils (pollen and algal spores) provide clues to source and quality of drinking water.


Latrines, pollen, biogenic silica, starch grains.

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