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Food and cuisine shape our regional and ethnic identity. These food preferences were/are informed by access to certain ingredients and their associated cultural meanings. In the Mohawk Valley, archaeological data from Mohawk Native American sites can help researchers understand Mohawk cuisine preferences and how the arrival of Europeans in this area impacted Native American communities. Scott Ferrara will examine how archaeologists use plant remains to understand food preferences and discuss what specific local plants Mohawk communities were using nearly 500 years ago.
Scott Ferrara is an archaeologist and PhD student at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. He specializes in the study of colonialism in the Northeast United States by examining past plant use. Recently, his research has focused on understanding the changes in plant use of Mohawk Native American communities in the Mohawk Valley, from before and after the arrival of Europeans, by examining seeds from archaeological sites.