From Quelites to Crop Indices: Thinking Through Maya Chenopods

Author(s): Jon Hageman; David Goldstein

Year: 2017


While chenopod cultivation has been documented extensively in North and South America, evidence for similar practices in the Maya area is lacking. Macrobotanical evidence of Chenopodium recovered from pre-Hispanic Maya archaeological sites is limited to a few seeds. In contrast, the palynological record minimally suggests widespread tolerance across the entirety of the Maya area, if not intensive management or in some contexts even cultivation of Cheno-am genera. It is likely that chenopods were an integral part of the successional agroecology of fallowing and milpa agriculture. Typically, archaeologists consider such data as evidence of food production, but our work in documenting the ubiquity and uses of plant among ethnographic Maya populations strongly suggests that the primary use of chenopods among the Maya is as a source of medicine and greens.

Cite this Record

From Quelites to Crop Indices: Thinking Through Maya Chenopods. Jon Hageman, David Goldstein. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429822)


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): 16137