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BrieAnna Langlie, PhD

I am the director of LAFF, and a specialist in paleoethnobotany, or the analysis of plant remains recovered from archaeological contexts. Humans have always had an intimate relationship with plants. We use multitudes of plants for an array purposes in our lives. For example, arrangements of flowers are sent to express love. We also use plants for food, drink, ritual, and structural support in architecture. That means, these culturally constructed actions can be studied by proxy in the archaeological record by looking at plant residues. The plants can tell us so many things about how past humans lived, interacted with one another, and how humans transformed their environment.

As the descendent of many generations of farmers in southern Minnesota, I have a personal stake in making sure that food and farming systems are viable for future generations. That picture of a mid-western farm is where my paternal grandmother was born, and where my father currently resides. This background provides much of the motivation for my research on ancient agriculture and food systems. Beyond that, I have a general love for cooking and eating. 

Courses Taught

Introduction to the Four Fields of Anthropology


Civilizations of the Ancient Andes


Seminar in the Archaeology of Domestication

Lab Methods in Paleoethnobotany

Seminar in Anthro Writing and Publication

The Scientific Basis of Environmental Issues

About My Research

My primary research is located in the Andes Mountains of South America in a region known as the altiplano. My research is based out of the Collasuyo Archaeological Research Institute (CARI), a non-profit organization and facility located in Puno, Peru. Check CARI out here. In my dissertation research I looked at how terraced fields, cropping schemes, and food systems were tuned to warfare and climate changes for a large fortified community living in the hinterlands near Lake Titicaca between AD 1100 and 1450. 

In my new research, called The Altiplano Agriculture and Communities Project, I am looking broadly at how the construction of monumental field systems in the region articulated with oscillating temperatures and social complexity through time. This project involves remote sensing of field systems, archaeological survey, excavations, and ethnobotancial interviews with the communities still farming traditional terrace systems. 

I am also involved in ongoing and collaborative research on the biological and cultural processes of domestication of Andean crops such potatoes and quinoa during the Archaic and Formative periods.

You can download my curriculum vitae here. Below is a list of selected publications.

LANGLIE, BRIEANNA S. and José Capriles

   2021   Paleoethnobotanical Evidence Points to Agricultural Mutualism among Early Camelid Pastoralists of the Andean Central 

              Altiplano. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. pdf


2021      Origins of Food Production in the High Andes. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Anthropology. edited by Mark Aldenderfer.



   2020   Late Intermediate Period Plant Use at a Colla Hillfort, Puno, Peru (AD 1300-1450). Latin American Antiquity. pdf


    2018  Building Ecological Resistance: Late Intermediate Period Farming in the South-Central Highland Andes (CE 1100–

              1450). Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. pdf


    2018  Morphological Analysis of Late Pre-Hispanic Peruvian Chenopodium spp., Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. pdf


Browman, David L., Gayle J. Fritz, and BRIEANNA S. LANGLIE

    2018  Origins of Food-Producing Economies in the Americas. In The Human Past:

              World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies 4th edition, edited by Chris Scarre, pp. 303-343. Thames &                        Hudson, London.


Fritz, Gayle J., Maria C. Bruno, BRIEANNA S. LANGLIE, Bruce Smith, and Logan Kistler                                                                        2017  Cultigen Chenopods in the Americas: A Hemispherical Perspective. In Social Perspectives on Ancient Lives from     

              Paleoethnobotanical Data, edited by Matthew P. Sayre, and Maria C. Bruno, pp. 55-76. Springer, New York. pdf


LANGLIE, BRIEANNA S., and Elizabeth N. Arkush
    2016   Managing Mayhem: Conflict, Environment, and Subsistence in the Andean Late Intermediate Period, Puno, Peru. In The     

               Archaeology of Warfare and Food: Food Insecurity in Prehistory, edited by Amber VanDerwarker and Greg Wilson, pp. 259-

               290. Springer, New York. pdf

LANGLIE, BRIEANNA S., Natalie G. Mueller, Robert N. Spengler, and Gayle J. Fritz
    2014  Agricultural Origins from the Ground Up: Archaeological Perspectives on Plant Domestication. American Journal of Botany

              101:1601-1617. pdf

LANGLIE, BRIEANNA S., Christine A. Hastorf, Maria C. Bruno, Marc Bermann, Renée Bonzani, and William Castellón Condarco

    2011  Diversity in Andean Chenopodium Domestication: Describing a New Morphological Type from La Barca, Bolivia 1300-1250                  BC (Department of Oruro), Journal of Ethnobiology 31(1):72-78. pdf


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