23 January 2012
A new study suggests that people living along the coast of northern Peru were eating popcorn 1,000 years earlier than previously thought. Researchers say corncobs found at an ancient site in Peru suggest that the inhabitants used them for making flour and popcorn.
Maize was first domesticated in Mexico nearly nine-thousand years ago from a wild grass.
It was assumed it took a good few thousand of years to reach South America, where it is an important part of today’s diet.
But corn cobs found at ancient archaeological sites in northern Peru indicate it was being eaten by people living there as long as 6,700 years ago.
And, tests carried out on the ancient cobs suggest it was being used in more varied ways than previously believed: namely for making flour and popcorn!
This would mean that in some areas people were making popcorn even before they had pottery. How exactly they went about making it, especially if they lacked pottery, is not clear.
Even less clear is just when they would have eaten it, in an age before movies.