Discover ancient rituals and plant lore that formed the foundations for medicine, botany, and modern agriculture.
For centuries, peasants leaped over bonfires with accompaniment of song, ale and courtship, in spring, midsummer and fall, all to combat smut, rust, darnel, and rinderpest.
During these times, rituals for protection of crops and livestock were the primary basis of social life and cohesion, and these rituals contributed to a vigorous plant lore that later transmuted into the foundations of medicine, botany, and modern agriculture.
In Hidden Histories and Ancient Mysteries of Witches, Plants, and Fungi, Dr. Frank Dugan, veteran plant pathologist and author of Fungi in the Ancient World and Conspectus of World Ethnomycology, traces the evolution of plant lore and crop protection from the ancient beginnings of agriculture, through human civilization’s advances, and into today, where modern witches now browse online for herbal remedies and consult their county extension agents on edible fungi.
Through this unique book, Dugan stitches a wide variety of academic disciplines in a cohesive, entertaining, and historically relevant text that opens a window on the cultures of centuries past and the plants within them—a window made more transparent by recent advances in archaeobotany, molecular-genetics, paleolinguistics, paleo- and historical climatology, agricultural history, and comparative folklore.