Gayle J. Fritz

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Gayle J. Fritz is an American paleoethnobotanist working out of Washington University in St. Louis and is a world expert on ancient crops.[1]

Her work focuses on crops other than maize, such as chenopodium and amaranth, and emphasizes the importance of direct radiocarbon dating when establishing the models of early agriculture ("Are the First American Farmers Getting Younger?"). She also proposes a diversity of pathways from hunting-gathering to agriculture, highly dependent on regional variations and the intricacies of local cultures, and explores the role of women in early societies, often challenging a "Big Chief" model of hierarchical dominance.

Selected works by Fritz[edit]

  • Browman, D. L., Fritz, G. J., and Watson, P. J.: "Origins of Food-Producing Economies in the Americas." In The Human Past, edited by Christopher Scarre (2005), pp. 306–349. Thames and Hudson, London.
  • Fritz, G. J.: "Paleoethnobotanical Methods and Applications." In Handbook of Archaeological Methods, edited by Herbert D.G. Maschner and Christopher Chippindale (2005), pp. 771–832. Altamira Press, Walnut Creek, California.
  • Fritz, G. J. and Lopinot, N. H.: "Native Crops at Early Cahokia: Comparing Domestic and Ceremonial Contexts". Illinois Archaeology 14, in press.


  1. ^ McGinn, Susan Killenberg (20 November 2013). "McMillan Hall Addition Enhances Anthropology Teaching, Research". Washington University in Saint Lous. 

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