Cocoa History

Cocoa History

Archaeological Evidences of Cocoa in the Upper Amazon and its Historical Importance. Jaén Archeology and Tourism, Quirino Olivera 2018. Traditionally it was thought, that cocoa was native from Mexican lands, because it was there where it was revealed to the European conquerors. The importance of cocoa among the Mayans and Aztecs was far superior to gold, in fact it was used as a medium of exchange in commercial transactions and symbolically considered the food of the gods. Although it is true that cocoa left the Mesoamerican region to the rest of the world, its place of origin is not located in the isthmus of Mexico, if not in the Amazon. Genetic research started in the 2000s began to focus on the Amazon region, since it is there where the highest concentration of varieties of Theobroma occurs in wild and domesticated fruits. In recent years, more specific research has focused on the origin of domestication and dispersal of the national variety of Theobroma fine aroma, today emblematic in southern Ecuador and northern Peru (the Marañón-Chicnchipe binational basin).

Archaeological cocoa in the Upper Amazon picture In Peru, the topic of archaeological cocoa had remained almost unnoticed, until Dr. Francisco Valdez, in his archaeological investigations, carried out for ten years (from 2000 to 2012) in Palanda-Santa Ana-La Florida, in the Upper Amazon Ecuadorian, discovered evidence of cacao of 5500 years old, which places it as the oldest in the world. Two thousand years older than the archaeological cocoa discovered in Mexico. The evidence of cocoa discovered in Palanda was recorded inside ceramic containers associated with burial contexts buried in the center of a spiral-shaped architectural platform, identical to the spiral-shaped architecture discovered by Quirino Olivera N. (2012) in the Huaca Montegrande – Jaén, Peru

Archaeological Evidence of Domestication and Consumption of Cocoa in Ancient Peru.

Necklace with cocoa pods in Gold

Lord of Sipan's Golden Scepter

Necklace with cocoa pods in shells by Spondylus

The ceramic bottle with representations of cocoa

Miniature sculptures of the Huaca La Luna




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