Skip to comments.The Indians of the Ecuadorian Amazon were using cocoa 5,300 years ago
Posted on 11/02/2018 11:06:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Traces of cocoa dating back 5300 years have been found in ancient pots in the Ecuadorian Amazon. This is the oldest proof of cocoa use ever found. It predates the domestication of cocoa by the Olmec and the Maya in Central America by some 1500 years.
This evidence was collected in the southern Ecuadorian Amazon, at the Santa Ana La Florida (SALF) archaeological site near Palanda, discovered 16 years ago by the archaeologist Francisco Valdez and his Franco-Ecuadorian team (IRD/INPC) (2). The Mayo Chinchipe, the oldest known Amerindian civilization in the upper Amazon, had consumed cocoa almost continuously from at least 5300 years to 2100 years before present. Traces of houses and of a ceremonial site remain.
"Evidence of cocoa use was found by analysing the starch grains characteristic of the genus Theobroma, traces of theobromine, a biochemical compound specific to mature cocoa beans, and ancient cocoa DNA found in ceramic vessels, some of which dated back more than 5300 years" , says Claire Lanaud, a geneticist from CIRAD specializing in cocoa, who is one of the lead authors of the study. "The vessels came from tombs or domestic settings; they clearly showed that cocoa was used both as a funerary offering and for daily consumption."
...The presence of seashells, such as spondylus and strombus, from the Pacific coast, at the archaeological site demonstrates that there were communication links between the peoples of the Pacific coast and those of the Amazon, such as the Mayo Chinchipe. "This latter group may therefore have played a major role in domesticating cocoa in general and the Nacional variety in particular."
(Excerpt) Read more at eurekalert.org ...
Cradle of Chocolate?[snip] Digging through history to a time before agriculture, archaeologists from Cornell University and the University of California at Berkeley have found evidence of a village that was continuously occupied from 2000 B.C. to A.D. 1000 as well as hints to the secret of the community's remarkable longevity.
by Roger Segelken
October 8, 1998
"My guess is, it all comes down to chocolate," says John S. Henderson, professor of anthropology at Cornell and co-director, together with Rosemary Joyce of Berkeley, of the archaeological dig at Puerto Escondido, Honduras. The type of ceremonial pottery uncovered by the archaeologists points to that region of Mesoamerica as a possible "Cradle of Chocolate." [/snip]
Sweet discovery: New UBC study pushes back the origins of chocolate
Well, if I find chocolate, Im probably not going anywhere.
The chocolate we consume is heavily laced with sugars that are added to overcome its bitter taste. Is this a recent recipe or has sugar been used continuously with cocoa?
The drink that was made with cacao, xocolātl, wasconsidered sacred by the Mesoamericans and used during initiation ceremonies, funerals, and marriages. Cacao beans were also used as currency. Because cacao was both currency and food, drinking chocolate was like sipping on cash kind of like lighting your cigar with a hundred dollar bill and for this reason was a privilege mainly limited to elites. More:
Um, I originally misread the headline, didn’t notice the “o” in “cocoa”. This is a MUCH different article than I expected.
Bitter. It wasn’t sweetened until it got to Europe.
Europeans added sugar to make the modern chocolate. Sugar is an old world entity. The ancient MesoAmericans did not have sugar, which was imported by the Portuguese to the Americas after Columbus.
Perhaps sugar from cane was missing. Agave nectar, Yacón syrup, and Stevia leaves are sweeteners sourced from the Americas.
Aztecs and Mayas kept stingless bees in hives before the Spanish arrived. They produce a sweeter honey than European bees but not in a comb and not as abundantly.
Th honey and wax made by stingless bees was traded for cocoa beans in some societies...
The Mayans also had vanilla... which is the “bean” pod of an orchid native to the Americas.
Apparently you didn’t read the article.
And break the tradition of FR?
Actually, I did. My excerpt was bad, but I put the link in for how cocoa wasnt always sweetened. Apparently, Im a psychopath according to other articles because I dont use cream and sugar in everything. I do like dark chocolate and non-Dutch cocoa with chili. Theres something magic about that combo.
You didn't notice that the whole point of the article wasn't psychopathy, but rather that the domestication of cocoa is from South America, not MesoAmerica as you stated, and 1500 years earlier?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.