Author(s): Claudia Leon Romero

Year: 2017


Cacao had a transcendental role in the life of prehistoric people of Mesoamerica, becoming part of their economic, ideological and social system. Due to the morphological and environmental characteristics necessary for the growth of cacao tree, the main producers were concentrated in places like southern Mexico and Central America. However, written sources of the first colonizers in Yucatan disclose that the indigenous nobility of that time had at their disposal cacao orchards in different hollows called rejolladas or ts'ats.

Pollen and radiocarbon analyses were made from sediment cores at ts’ats Xkakhuil from the eastern Yucatan. The presence of Theobroma cacao pollen confirm the use of these species, at least from the Post Classic period, when Mayapán was the controller of trade in the north of the peninsula. But the vast iconography of cacao at Chichén Itzá reflected the ideal environment of cultivation of this plant, and the occupation of some rejolladas and ts'ats during the heyday of this city could trace the beginning of this practice centuries before.

Cite this Record

ANCIENT CACAO GROVES IN YUCATAN: A PALYNOLOGICAL APPROACH. Claudia Leon Romero. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429591)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14986