August 22, 2016

New Ancient Cacao Finds in Utah

Cacao originated in the Amazon and was being grown in Chiapas by 1900 BCE. In 2011, cacao residue was found on pottery from Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Then cacao was found on “Abajo Red on Orange” pottery in Utah in 2013. The pottery was tested to 780 CE. This adds to the story of extensive trade in cacao, scarlet macaws, pyrite mirrors, and turquoise, among other items, between Mesoamerica and the Southwest, which included repeated migrations. A new group of researchers are now testing pottery from areas near the site of the original cacao residues find in Utah. They have found mug bases, corrugated jar bases, white ware bowls and Abajo red-pon-orange pottery with cacao residue at three different sites within 10 miles of the original find, thus validating the original find.

Natural History Museum of Utah has the report here with nice photos;
https://nhmu.utah.edu/chocolate;

Mike Ruggeri’s Aztlan World
http://mikeruggerisaztlanworld.tumblr.com

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