Alexander Tasi

Mentor: Dr. Neill Wallis
Florida Museum of Natural History
 
"The chance to answer an unanswered question was very appealing to me. Especially so when the question dealt with such fundamental themes as agriculture and human history."

Major

Anthropology and Botany

Minor

Environmental Science

Research Interests

  • Archaeology
  • Plant Genetics
  • Paleoethnobotany

Academic Awards

  • UF University Scholars Program
  • William L. Proctor Award
  • National Merit Scholar

Organizations

  • UF Kendo

Volunteer

  • Wilmot Gardens Restoration Project

Hobbies and Interests

  • Gardening
  • Reading
  • Running
  • Music

Research Description

Cob Marked Pottery and Maize in Pre-Colonial Florida
Understanding and reconstructing prehistoric subsistence strategies is a key goal of modern archaeology. In those places where domesticated plants were grown, traditional archaeobotanical methods often rely on the direct analysis on carbonized plant remains. However, indirect evidence of the plants themselves is often of significant probative value, especially in situations where carbonized remains are scarce or absent. The objective of this project is to explore maize utilization in pre-Columbian and early Colonial Florida through the lens of cob marked pottery. This will involve examination of direct morphological evidence left on the sherds, as well as starch grain analysis and radiocarbon dating of residues. By accessing site collections from different locales and time periods, and generating modern comparative populations, we hope to gain a better understanding of maize's historical variation in Florida.