Unraveling the Long Road to the Maize Diet in the Neotropics of Mesoamerica
Start Date: Feb 09, 2021 - 05:30pm
Location: Presented via Zoom
On Tuesday, February 9 at 5:30 pm, Dr. Keith Prufer will present his talk Unraveling the Long Road to the Maize Diet in the Neotropics of Mesoamerica as part of the Taos Archaeological Society Speaker Series. Register for the event here (please sign in by 5:25 pm)
Pollen and starch grain evidence indicates that domesticated maize (Zea mays subspecies mays) first appears in the Balsas region of Mexico by ~9,000 years ago, but few data exist on when corn became an integral part of the human diet in Mesoamerica. In this talk I present new data for a transect spanning 9,500-1,200 years ago of stable isotopes of carbon showing the adoption of maize was gradual, later than might be expected, and resulted in a maize dependent diet in the neotropics by 4000 B.P.
Keith M. Prufer is a Professor of Anthropology and director of the Environmental Archaeology Laboratory at the University of New Mexico. For 25 years he has conducted excavations in the Maya Lowlands focusing on human-environmental relationships. His newest project is investigating the Paleoindian and Archaic origins of humans in the neotropics through studies of diet, technology, and genomics