Differentiating the Volcaniform Phytoliths of Bananas: Musa acuminata
Phytoliths, Bananas, Diagnostic criteria
Banana phytoliths are considered a suitable tool in archaeology to track the history of the human populations involved in banana cultivation and dispersal throughout the tropical world. This study is confined to an initial investigation of the species Musa acuminata Colla and of its edible diploid and triploid derivatives. Slight morphological and/or morphometrical differences of the volcaniform phytoliths can be expected because of the very complex and bi-specific phylogeny of the edible banana. A stepwise procedure in the analysis of these phytoliths is therefore required.
Analysis of 21 samples covering a wide spectrum in genetic diversity, shows that banana phytolith diversity is linked to phylogeny. The results suggest that precise and reliable identification of phytoliths in archaeological contexts is possible, but that the examination of an additional set of samples is necessary to fully understand the extent of morphotypic variation and traits for diagnostic discrimination.
Original Publication Citation
Vrydaghs L., T. Ball T., H. Volkaert , I. Van den Houwe, J. Manwaring, and E. De Langhe.2009. Differentiating the Volcaniform Phytoliths of Bananas: Musa acuminata. Ethnobotany Research & Applications 7:239-246.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Vrydaghs, Luc; Ball, Terry; Volkaert, H.; van den Houwe, Ines; Manwaring, Jason; and De Lenghe, Edmond, "Differentiating the Volcaniform Phytoliths of Bananas: Musa acuminata" (2009). Faculty Publications. 3544.
Ethnobotany Research and Applications
Ethnobotany Research and Applications (ISSN 1547-3465) is published online by the Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University. All articles are copyrighted by the author(s) and are published online by a license from the author(s).