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Plant species native to the American southwest may have been cultivated by indigenous people, but techniques to assess the extent, timing, and impacts of early manipulation are lacking. Herein we apply morphometric techniques to tubers and starch granules of the Four Corners potato, (Solanum jamesii Torrey) to determine if cultivation, even over a relatively short period of time, can be detected. When compared to wild source plants, cultivated plants produced significantly larger tubers and starch granules. We suggest that, in concert with other archaeological and/or ecological data, microbotanical data may aid in identifying modifications to plant food resources related to strategic shifts from wild harvest to cultivation in the American west.

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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. © 2018, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivertives 4.0. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Journal of Archaeological Science, doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2018.07.014

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