Changing Fields: Addition of Non-local Plants
After around AD 1000, Indigenous people in Arkansas began to incorporate crops that were domesticated in Mexico and that had made their way to the mid-South via the Southwest. These plants included corn, a type of squash, domesticated amaranth, and eventually beans. The timing and extent that Indigenous people incorporated these nonlocal crops varied substantially between regions.
The Arkansas Archeological Survey’s Teaching Gardens at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Research Station features a garden with corn, squash, amaranth, and beans. These crops were being grown by Indigenous people when Europeans first encountered them, along with much more ancient crops their ancestors developed, like goosefoot.