Maureece Levin is an archaeologist and paleoethnobotanist with interests in prehistoric and historic food production systems, historical ecology, and social change. Her research methods focus on phytolith and plant macroremain analysis, especially concerning the application of phytoliths to interpretation of the archaeological record. She completed her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Oregon in 2015. In her dissertation, entitled “Food Production, Environment, and Culture in the Tropical Pacific: Evidence for Prehistoric and Historic Plant Cultivation in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia,” she uses archaeological landscape survey, along with ancient and modern botanical data, to examine managed agroforests in the Pacific. At the Stanford Archaeology Center, she is working primarily on projects in China and in Micronesia, while continuing to use phytolith, plant macroremain, and starch analysis to study ancient plant cultivation systems.
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oregon (2015)
Bachelor of Arts, Whitman College (2003)
Li Liu, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
The origins of specialized pottery and diverse alcohol fermentation techniques in Early Neolithic China.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
In China, pottery containers first appeared about 20000 cal. BP, and became diverse in form during the Early Neolithic (9000-7000 cal. BP), signaling the emergence of functionally specialized vessels. China is also well-known for its early development of alcohol production. However, few studies have focused on the connections between the two technologies. Based on the analysis of residues (starch, phytolith, and fungus) adhering to pottery from two Early Neolithic sites in north China, here we demonstrate that three material changes occurring in the Early Neolithic signal innovation of specialized alcoholic making known in north China: (i) the spread of cereal domestication (millet and rice), (ii) the emergence of dedicated pottery types, particularly globular jars as liquid storage vessels, and (iii) the development of cereal-based alcohol production with at least two fermentation methods: the use of cereal malts and the use of moldy grain and herbs (qu and caoqu) as starters. The latter method was arguably a unique invention initiated in China, and our findings account for the earliest known examples of this technique. The major ingredients include broomcorn millet, Triticeae grasses, Job's tears, rice, beans, snake gourd root, ginger, possible yam and lily, and other plants, some probably with medicinal properties (e.g., ginger). Alcoholic beverages made with these methods were named li, jiu, and chang in ancient texts, first recorded in the Shang oracle-bone inscriptions (ca. 3200 cal. BP); our findings have revealed a much deeper history of these diverse fermentation technologies in China.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1902668116
View details for PubMedID 31160461
- Harvesting and processing wild cereals in the Upper Palaeolithic Yellow River Valley, China ANTIQUITY 2018; 92 (363): 603–19
- Tangatatau Rockshelter: The Evolution of an Eastern Polynesian Socio-Ecosystem (Book Review) ETHNOBIOLOGY LETTERS 2018; 9 (2): 243–44
- Breadfruit Fermentation in Pohnpei, Micronesia: Site Formation, Archaeological Visibility, and Interpretive Strategies JOURNAL OF ISLAND & COASTAL ARCHAEOLOGY 2018; 13 (1): 109–31
- Managed agroforests, swiddening, and the introduction of pigs in Pohnpei, Micronesia: Phytolith evidence from an anthropogenic landscape QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL 2017; 434: 70-77
- Of Trowels and Temples. A Review of Three Stones Make a Wall by Eric H. Cline. Open Letters Monthly. 2017
- Usewear and residue analyses of experimental harvesting stone tools for archaeological research Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 2017; 14: 439-453
Swiddening Practices in the Micronesian Past: Macrocharcoal Quantification from a Gardening Site in Pohnpei
Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology
View details for DOI 10.1080/15564894.2016.1271066
- Roasting breadfruit in the Pacific: A combined plant macroremain and phytolith analysis from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia ARCHAEOLOGY IN OCEANIA 2016; 51 (1): 70-76
- Pohnpeian and Pingelapese Food Production in the Archaeological Record: A Pilot Project Report Submitted to Historic Preservation Office, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.. 2016
- ANCIENT PLANTS AND PEOPLE: CONTEMPORARY TRENDS IN ARCHAEOBOTANY CHAEOBOTANY (Book Review) FOOD CULTURE & SOCIETY 2015; 18 (4): 709-711
- Archaeological Survey, Architectural Studies and Agricultural Analysis, Nan Madol and Temwen, Pohnpei Pacific Islands Archaeological Laboratory, University of Oregon. Submitted to Historic Preservation Office, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.. 2015
- Archaeological Remains at Angier-Karian, Nan Madol, With Supplemental Studies at Sokehs and Temwen, Pohnpei, FSM Pacific Islands Archaeological Laboratory, University of Oregon. Submitted to Historic Preservation Office, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. . 2009