Early Andean maize is unearthed

March 2, 2006

Archaeologists say they've found evidence that ancient Peruvians grew maize more than a millennium earlier than previously thought.

Maize was originally cultivated in Mexico and archaeologists have evidence the crop was grown as early as 7,000 years ago in Ecuador. But they had not known how quickly the practice spread southward into the Andes.

The evidence was found at a dig at the Waynuna Site in Peru's Catahuasi Valley.

The researchers say the development of agriculture in that area marks a cornerstone in the development of civilization in the Andes -- a process that ultimately led to the rise of the Incas, who dominated the region from about 1100 A.D. until the arrival of European settlers.

Linda Perry of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, led the researchers who made the discovery that's detailed in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers find the earliest evidence of domesticated maize

Related Stories

GMO maize strain safe: EU food agency

June 30, 2009

A genetically modified strain of maize, banned in some EU countries, poses no risk to health or the environment, the European Food Safety Authority declared Tuesday.

Tracking a crop disease could save millions of lives

August 20, 2008

Scientists have discovered why one of the world's most important agricultural diseases emerged, according to research published in the September issue of the Journal of General Virology. Maize streak virus (MSV) causes the ...

Recommended for you

Did meteorites bring life's phosphorus to Earth?

August 30, 2016

Meteorites that crashed onto Earth billions of years ago may have provided the phosphorous essential to the biological systems of terrestrial life. The meteorites are believed to have contained a phosphorus-bearing mineral ...

Invisibility cloak with photonic crystals

August 30, 2016

Almost as elusive as unicorns, finding practical materials for invisibility cloaking is challenging. Michigan Technological University researchers have new ideas how to solve that.

Kiwi birds younger than originally thought, research shows

August 30, 2016

New Zealand's kiwi may be one of the world's oddest birds – flightless, nocturnal, an enigmatic dirt digger with nostrils at the end of its long bill. But the national symbol also has a lot to tell the world about evolution ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.