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Maize the foundation of civilizations

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posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 04:52 PM
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Maize (Corn) May Have Been Domesticated In Mexico As Early As 10,000 Years Ago

Maize




The ancestors of maize originally grew wild in Mexico and were radically different from the plant that is now one of the most important crops in the world. While the evidence is clear that maize was first domesticated in Mexico, the time and location of the earliest domestication and dispersal events are still in dispute.






Maize is wind pollinated and sheds large amounts of pollen, which is deposited in soil and water sediments. The tough outer wall (exine) of pollen protects it from deterioration for thousands of years.





Analysis of area sediments revealed phytoliths of domesticated varieties of maize as well as those of agricultural weeds. These data, along with evidence of burning, suggested that agriculturalists were active in that part of the Yucatan Peninsula around 7,000 years ago.


The domestication of maize allowed the creation of food surpluses that drove specialization in culture. In the old world this was done by wheat and in Asia rice.




posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 03:06 AM
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yes,
and the original corn was very different than what we know today.
It only had several kernels per cob and was mostly undigestable cellulose.


Quite honestly corn gets WAY to much credit.
Corn has almost no nutrional value , its mostly cellulose that our bodies cant break down, when consumed as a staple and major part of the diet corn will "leach" vital nutrients out of of the body.
What doesnt get enough mention is that along with corn the native americans also domesticated beans, peppers, tomatoes, squash, potatoes and harvested wild rice.
Studies have shown that skeletons of coastal indians from the south east have much better overall health, pre-contact than they do after the european conquest.
In this particular case the diet of the native americans is pretty well documented, the lived on a varied diet of food they gathered: fish, shellfish, small game and birds, acorns, wild greens and rice .They grew corn,squash and beans, and they had pretty good health.
But after the europen conquest they were forced to survive on a meager diet of corn and a little dried meat.
The deterioration of the health of native americans is quite drastic, there are signs of a whole host of conditions and diseases that can be traced to malnutrition.



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by Hanslune
In the old world this was done by wheat and in Asia rice.

Then how can you make the claim?

Both wheat and rice go about 10,000 years back.



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by merka

Originally posted by Hanslune
In the old world this was done by wheat and in Asia rice.

Then how can you make the claim?

Both wheat and rice go about 10,000 years back.




What??????
The first signs of corn cultivation go back 10k years.


hans is stating that just as the domestication of corn is responsible for the for an advancement in culture,rice and cereal grains had the same effect for the people of the near east and asia.

What I find far more interesting is how, all around the world, people with no contact with each other living in widely varying environments, all discovered agriculture and animal husbandry all about the same time.



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 09:21 PM
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domesticated beans, peppers, tomatoes, squash, potatoes and harvested wild rice.


You are correct Punkinworks, I over stated the importance of Corn. The other vegetables and legumes were an importnant part of the agricultural revolution. If you have not, I would recommend reading Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. Which has an excellent discussion of how these domestications affected human life.

The age of the domestication of the two main variants of rice is still under debate. I was a student of Solheim and so I got an overload on THAT subject.

[edit on 8/7/08 by Hanslune]



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