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Pueblo societies traded turquoise chocolate

The ancient people who lived in the U.S. Southwest loved their chocolate so much that they traded turquoise for cacao with the Mesoamerican cultures in Central America.

Pueblo groups and an ensuing Southwest society traded turquoise for Mesoamerican cacao for about five centuries, from around 900 to 1400, proposes a team led by archaeologist Dorothy Washburn of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Surprisingly, large numbers of people throughout Pueblo society apparently consumed cacao, from low-ranking farmers to elite residents of a multistory pueblo, the scientists report online March 4 in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

“Since cacao was consumed by both Pueblo elites and nonelites, active trading for cacao must have occurred with Mesoamerican states,” Washburn says.

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Story: Bruce Bower, Science News | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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