March 10, 2016

First Proof of Corn Beer Use in the Southwest Found at Paquime

Researchers are studying the fossilized teeth of ancient inhabitants of Casas Grandes (Paquime), in Chihuahua. The first conclusive evidence of the use of corn beer in the ancient Southwest has been found in the teeth of the inhabitants. Paquime housed 3000 people at its height in the 14th century. It was a major trading post between Mesoamerican and the Southwest. The tartar on the teeth of the dead traps elements that have been ingested and mineralize over time. 110 individuals remains were tested, buried between 700-1450 CE. 63 had mineralized remains. 10% of the samples yielded corn smut (huitlacoche), an edible fungus that is still a delicacy today. Three samples showed fermentation that would have been used to make chicha, a corn beer that was in use for 5000 years in Mesoamerica and South America. The fermented granules dated to 1200-1450 CE.

Western Digs has the report here;

Mike Ruggeri’s Aztlan World

Mike Ruggeri’s Casas Grandes World Magazine

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