Thursday, 10 March 2011

The importance of maize

Maria Bruno has recently published a very interesting paper where she presents the results of the analysis of carbonized plant remains from the site of Loma Salvatierra, in the Llanos de Moxos region of Bolivia (Department of Beni). The most common crop encountered was maize, but she also tentatively identified chili pepper, sweet potato, jack bean, peanuts, squash, and cotton.
Maria's work suggests that in the mounds region of the eastern Llanos de Moxos maize was the most important crop (together with yucca) in sustaining the large population that seems to have inhabited this area. What is striking is that there are no raised fields here! Have those who provided the scientific background for this anything to say?


Bruno, M. C. (2010). Carbonized Plant Remains from Loma Salvatierra , Department of Beni , Bolivia. Zeitschrift für Archäologie Außereuropäischer Kulturen, 3, 151-206.

Lombardo, U., & Prümers, H. (2010). Pre-Columbian human occupation patterns in the eastern plains of the Llanos de Moxos, Bolivian Amazonia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 37, 1875-1885. Here

1 comment:

  1. not a problem, umberto et al. will offer solutions :-) (if scientific journal agrees, jaja)...
    (does maize leave any phytolithe evidence behind, by the way??)