A Word on Chocolate

John G. Jones, Ph.D. Senior Paleoethnobotanist

The origins of chocolate are obscure. The plant itself, Theobroma cacao, is native to Central and South America, but it is currently being cultivated around the world in humid tropical areas. Theobromine, a principal component in chocolate, has been identified in dried residue in ceramic vessels from . . . → Read More: A Word on Chocolate

Coal Studies in Archaeology

John G. Jones, Ph.D. Senior Paleoethnobotanist

From time to time, we find coal in archaeological contexts. Through careful analysis, coal can provide clues to plant evolution as well as information that helps to illuminate the past. In the mid 1980s a Revolutionary War-era vessel was found in the York River in Virginia. All that . . . → Read More: Coal Studies in Archaeology

Using Pollen for Good, not Evil: A Recent Forensic Study

John G. Jones, Ph.D.

Earlier in my career, I was approached by the conservation laboratory in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia; the lab had been hired to conserve a telescope and they wanted my input. The telescope had belonged to Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark fame). The owner of the scope, Meriwether Lewis’ descendant, was . . . → Read More: Using Pollen for Good, not Evil: A Recent Forensic Study