Abstract We report newly discovered macrobotanical and microbotanical remains of maize that shed significant light on the chronology, land race evolution, and cultural contexts associated with the crop's early movements into South America and adaptation to new environments. The evidence comes from the coastal Peruvian sites of Paredones and Huaca Prieta, Peru; dates from the middle and late preceramic and early ceramic periods (between ca. 6700 and 3000 calibrated years before the present); and constitutes some of the earliest known cobs, husks, stalks, and tassels. The macrobotanical record indicates that a diversity of racial complexes characteristic of the Andean region emerged during the preceramic era. In addition, accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon determinations carried out directly on different structures of preserved maize plants strongly suggest that assays on burned cobs are more reliable than those on unburned cobs. Our findings contribute to knowledge of the early diffusion of maize and agriculture and have broader implications for understanding the development of early preindustrial human societies.
Andrea Mameli www.linguaggiomacchina.it 19 gennaio 2012
Il riscatto del popcorn
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Ancient Maize Map