Abstract: At the 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) in August to September 2017 in Maastricht, NL, two sessions explored how archaeobotanical analysis can be used to explore plant use beyond arable agriculture. Session 203 (The Archaeobotany of Non-Food Plant Exploitation) focused on the non-food uses of plants, while Session 346 (Within the Woodlands: Exploitation of Wild Plants during the Medieval and Post-Medieval Period) explored the various uses of wild plants. A key aim of both sessions was to encourage archaeologists to consider the many varied uses of plant materials in the past, including food, fuel, construction materials, textiles, cordage, pigments, medicine and ritual, and to consider also that many of these materials will be collected from the wider landscape rather than cultivated. Many of these themes have been taken forward by ARCHWILD, an EAA Community with a focus on research on wild plant resources founded by the organisers of these sessions, amongst others. This editorial introduces a special issue comprising papers stemming from these sessions, which together provide an exploration of the 'state-of-the-art' in the investigation of wild and non-food plant exploitation.
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