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Part A: Short Answer

Answer the following four problems that relate to Merlin’s paper and textbook readings from this unit, using full sentences and short paragraphs as appropriate.

1. In your own words, describe the following two areas of study: archaeology and paleoethnobotany. How do these two terms relate to each other? How does paleoethnobotany differ from paleobotany?

2. For two types of data: artifactual and paleoethnobotanical give specific exs of sources of data and the type of information you can gain.

3. Why were/are psychoactive plants used in religion and medicine?

4. Give exs of plants which had uses in addition to their psychoactive effects.

Part B: Essay

The hypothesis presented by Merlin was that “humans have a very ancient tradition involving the use of mindaltering experiences to produce profound, more or less spiritual and cultural understanding.” In the essay of 750– 1000 words use one plant presented in this article to argue for or against this hypothesis. To defend your argument ensure you correctly identify what the archaeological data indicates about the past uses of the plant. You might also want to try to find evidence which contradicts that which is presented in your paper. You will also require to provide the following background information: the common and scientific names as well as family to which the plant belongs its geographic origins and its current distribution as well as current uses the chemical nature of the psychoactive principle and its physiological effects. Make sure that you are presenting the concepts in your own words and that you include present information.

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