Early Maize on the South Coast?

Author(s): Christina Conlee

Year: 2015


Presently evidence for the earliest domesticated maize in the Central Andes comes from the north coast of Peru. Dating to the Middle Preceramic this early maize consists of Proto-Confite Morocho and Confite Chavinense, which were primitive types of popcorn. In contrast, little is known about the early use of maize on the south coast. A cob of Confite Chavinense was found in a Preceramic context at the site of La Tiza in southern Nasca. Surrounding contexts, including a hearth, date the context to ca. 3640-3365 BC in the Middle Preceramic. However, the uncharred corn cob was radiocarbon dated to the Late Intermediate Period, a time long after Confite Chavinense is known to have been cultivated. Researchers at the north coast sites also had dating problems with uncharred corn cobs that produced dates that were far too young and propose that they were contaminated. It is possible that the La Tiza cob may have been similarly contaminated and that it too dates to the Middle Preceramic. Conversely, the cob may have been intrusive from a Late Intermediate Period occupation and reveal a long history of the use of ancient types of maize on the south coast.

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Cite this Record

Early Maize on the South Coast?. Christina Conlee. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396573)


mazie Nasca preceramic

Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;