Archaeology Terms

Back to all terms

Corn Kernels

Corn Kernels These are only four of over 10,000 corn kernels that filled a dense layer of plant remains in a feature discovered during 2012 excavations at a late precontact Oneota site in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Some kernels were smaller, like the one on the bottom left, while others were larger and more crescent-shaped, like the one on the bottom right. The kernels shown here are within a 1-cm scale. While corn kernels were abundant, only 19 corncob (cupule) fragments were found in the concentration of plant remains. This suggests that the corn had been “cleaned,” with the kernels removed from the cob, before storing. The thatch-lined pit served as a storage space for much smaller amounts of beans and Chenopodium (goosefoot or lambsquarters) as well.