September 22, 2017
Was Cacao Cultivated by Amazonian People 1,500 years before the Maya?
In 2014, archaeologists uncovered a stone structure built in a spiral in Ecuador. The structure contains a tomb dated at 3500 BCE. Ceremonial vessels in the tomb were found to contain cacao starch. There is a second temple similar to the one found in 2014 in the Amazon region found in 2016. It also contains a similar tomb, excavated twice by archaeologists across the river in Peru. So far, no funds have been raised to undergo further excavations at this twin site. If Cacao is found there as well, it will upset the timelines for the cultivation of cacao, and may prove that the people of the Amazon cultivated cacao 1,500 years before the Maya of Mesoamerica.
El Pais has the report here (in Spanish) with a good photo of the spiral tomb.