New evidence has revealed that maize was actively grown, processed, and eaten by people in the Andes 5,000 years ago. It had previously been thought that early Andeans depended upon marine resources for food.
In their paper, the team explained that the first stage of identifying the botanical remains taken from the archaeological sites was the analysis of the macrobotanical (visible to the naked eye) artefacts.
“Analyses of hundreds of samples… revealed that macroscopic remains of maize – including kernels, leaves, stalks and cobs – were rare,” they wrote.
They added that the reason for the lack of such samples at the sites has “yet to be resolved”, but the lack of such remains could not be seen as evidence of the absence of maize.
Story: Mark Kinver, BBC News | Photo: Wikimedia Commons