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Posted 29 December 2014. PMN Crop News.

Hidden Histories and Ancient Mysteries of Witches, Plants, and Fungi

New book uses science to reveal the hidden histories and solve the mysteries that helped shape ancient cultures

Source: The American Phytopathological Society Press Release.

St. Paul, Minnesota (December 20, 2014)--APS PRESS presents a fascinating new book that traces the evolution of plant lore and crop protection from the ancient beginnings of agriculture, through human civilization’s advances, and into the modern fields of medicine, botany, agriculture, and even witchcraft.


This new book, titled Hidden Histories and Ancient Mysteries of Witches, Plants, and Fungi by Dr. Frank Dugan of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, stitches together a wide variety of academic disciplines into a cohesive, entertaining, and historically relevant text that opens a window on the cultures of centuries past and the plants within them.

Hidden Histories and Ancient Mysteries of Witches, Plants, and Fungi is packed with unique topics, including:

• The impact of crises on social history and on the development of cultivated plants

• Archaeological and linguistic evidence for early medicinal use of ethnobotanical knowledge, particularly by women

• A discussion of medieval and Renaissance writings for pharmaceutical purposes

• Evidence of New World crops in Old World folklore

• The creation of new "ancient" traditions of ethnobotany

• The roles of plants and agriculture in contemporary customs of possible pagan origin, focusing especially on those meant to protect crop and livestock health

Dr. Dugan offers new perspectives on these topics thanks to recent advances in archaeobotany, molecular-genetics, paleolinguistics, paleo- and historical climatology, agricultural history, and comparative folklore.

This unique book applies to many individuals whose interests and areas of study include agricultural history, evolutionary plant pathology and mycology, plant protection history, ethnobotany, women’s studies, herbal medicine, and folklore. Select chapters can be an excellent complement to classes in these disciplines. Visit to learn more about this and other important titles from APS PRESS.

Book specifications and data: ©2015; 8” × 10” paperback; 192 pages (est.); 33 images; 1 pound; ISBN 978-0-89054-465-5. This book is published by The American Phytopathological Society (APS) and may be purchased for $69.95 plus S&H from APS PRESS.