The Secret Life of Cacao in the Ecuadorian Upper Amazon

Author(s): Sonia Zarrillo

Year: 2017


Genetic studies suggest that cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) domestication occurred in the Upper Amazon of southeastern Ecuador and northeastern Peru and was then transported by humans northwards to Central America and Mexico. As such, we should expect to find the earliest archaeological evidence of cacao use in the tropical forests of South America. This paper presents starch granule evidence for the early use of cacao from the Upper Amazon site of Santa Ana-La Florida during the Ecuadorian Early Formative Period.

Cite this Record

The Secret Life of Cacao in the Ecuadorian Upper Amazon. Sonia Zarrillo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430868)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15442