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This book examines one of the thorniest problems of ancient American archaeology: the origins and domestication of maize. Using a variety of scientific techniques, Duccio Bonavia explores the development of maize, its adaptation to varying climates, and its fundamental role in ancient American cultures. An appendix (by Alexander Grobman) provides the first ever comprehensive compilation of maize genetic data, correlating this data with the archaeological evidence presented throughout the book. This book provides a unique interpretation of questions of dating and evolution, supported by extensive data, following the spread of maize from South to North America, and eventually to Europe and beyond.Read more
- Provides discussion of all the hypotheses related to the origin of maize, including all the hypotheses formulated to date about domestication and the spread of maize in the Americas
- Examines archaeological evidence from all the sites where early maize has been found, from Canada to Argentina
- An appendix provides the first ever comprehensive compilation of maize genetic data
Reviews & endorsements
"Bonavia has written a masterly account of the domestication and adoption of maize in the New World based on hard science from many disciplines. Although likely controversial to some specialists for his bold thinking, his book is a welcome dose of fresh ideas about the early history of one of the world's most important food crops. Up to date, balanced, and based on the latest research, this work is the best summary of the subject by a Latin American scientist in a generation and can be recommended to anyone interested in ancient food production."
Tom D. Dillehay, Vanderbilt UniversitySee more reviews
"Maize is a major achievement and a capstone of a stunning career. It is an indispensable source for anyone interested in the domestication of grains in prehistory."
Charles Stanish, University of California, Los Angeles
"Bonavia offers us the best summary of the latest research on corn agriculture, some of which may be very controversial, including his interpretation of its orgins. Everything you want to know about ancient maize is found in this extraordinary study."
"Maize: Origin, Domestication, and its Role in the Development of Culture is perhaps best seen as a provoking and critical appraisal of the current corpus of evidence for the expert reader. Extensively and meticulously referenced, it provides a wealth of data to explore and a wealth of critical perspectives to consider."
Penny Jones, Archaeological Review from Cambridge
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- Date Published: May 2013
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107023031
- length: 601 pages
- dimensions: 262 x 185 x 39 mm
- weight: 1.44kg
- contains: 24 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. The maize problematic
2. Maize as seen by Europeans
3. The origin of maize
4. The domestication of maize
5. The archaeological evidence
6. The role of maize in Andean culture
7. Maize as seen by the first Europeans
8. The dispersal of maize around the world
10. Discussion and conclusions
Appendix Alexander Grobman.
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