Gary Crawford

Gary Crawford

Gary Crawford, Ph.D. (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1979)
Professor Emeritus, Mississauga Campus (UTM)

(905) 828-3783 (Main)

Research Keywords: Archaeology, agricultural origins, paleoethnobotany, human ecology

Research Region: East Asia, Eastern North America


Research Bio

Prof. Gary Crawford is an anthropological archaeologist specializing in archaeological botany and environmental archaeology. The field is known as palaeoethnobotany or archaeobotany. His current focus is East Asia where he is investigating the origins and intensification of agriculture. Actually, he’s never strayed far from East Asia, having first travelled to Japan in 1974. After working there for many years it was logical to begin focusing on China too, where he began to establish contacts in 1986. He has also investigated human and plant interactions in eastern North America (mainly Ontario and Kentucky with his first field experience being a foray into the wilds of Wisconsin). His work is informed by a comparative approach. The similarities and difference between Eastern North America and East Asia between 10,000 and 1000 years ago are especially intriguing.


2016. Zheng, Yunfei, Gary W. Crawford, Leping Jiang & Xugao Chen. Rice Domestication Revealed by Reduced Shattering of Archaeological rice from the Lower Yangtze valley. Scientific Reports 6:28136 | DOI: 10.1038/srep28136.

2014. Zheng, Yunfei, Gary W. Crawford and Xugao Chen. Archaeological Evidence for Peach (Prunus persica) Cultivation and Domestication in China. PLoS ONE 9(9): e106595. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106595.

2012. Liu, Li, Gary W. Crawford, Gyoung-Ah Lee, Chen Xingcan and Ma Xiaolin. Further Research on the sorghum from the Dahecun Site. Kaogu 2012 (1): 91-96 (in Chinese).

2011. Crawford, G. W. Early Rice Exploitation in the Lower Yangzi Valley: What are We Missing? The Holocene 22(6): 613-621.

2011. Lee , Gyoung-Ah, G. W. Crawford, Li Liu, Xingcan Chen, Yuka Sasaki, Xuexiang Chen. Archaeological soybean (Glycine max) in East Asia: Does size matter? PLoS One 6(11):e26720.

2011. Crawford, G.W.  Advances in Understanding Early Agriculture in Japan. Current Anthropology, Special issue, The Beginnings of Agriculture: New Data, New Ideas.

2009. Crawford, G. W. Agricultural origins in North China pushed back to the Pleistocene–Holocene boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 109: 7271-7272.

2008. Crawford, G.W. The Jomon in Early Agriculture Discourse: Issues Arising from Matsui, Kanehara, and Pearson. World Archaeology 40 (4):445-465.

2008. Crawford, G. W. and H. Takamiya.  Japanese Archipelago-Prehistoric Hunter-Fisher-Gatherers. In Encyclopedia of Archaeology, pp 637-641. Ed. by D. Pearsall. N.Y. : Academic Press.  (Please contact me if you would like a copy of the above article. Academic Press does not permit downloads of the article at this public web site). Note–our original title included the words “Hunter-Fisher-Gatherers-Food Producers”, a title we still prefer).

2007. Lee, G-A, G. W. Crawford, L. Liu, and X. Chen. Plants and people from the Early Neolithic to Shang periods in North China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

2006. Crawford, G. W., X. Chen and J. Wang. Houli Culture Rice from the Yuezhuang Site, Jinan. East Asia Archaeology 3:247-251. (in Chinese).

2006. Crawford, G. W.  East Asian Plant Domestication. In Archaeology of Asia, edited by Miriam Stark, pp 77-95. Blackwell Publishing.

Graduate Students

Lindi Masur

Emma Yasui

Tyler Cantwell