Maize : Origin, Domestication, and its Role in the Development of Culture

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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.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 24 b/w illus.
  • 1139603779
  • 9781139603775

About Duccio Bonavia

Duccio Bonavia held professorships at Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Universidad Nacional San Cristobal de Huamanga (Ayacucho) and at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Lima), before he retired in 2005. He served as the Assistant Director of the Museo Nacional de Arqueologia y Antropologia de Lima and has written fourteen books, including Peru: Hombre e Historia, Mural Paintings in Ancient Peru and The South American Camelids.
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Review quote

'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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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; 9. Chica; 10. Discussion and conclusions; Appendix Alexander Grobman.
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