Domestication of plants in Maya Lowlands

  title={Domestication of plants in Maya Lowlands},
  author={Patricia Colunga-Garc{\'i}amar{\'i}n and Daniel Zizumbo-Villarreal},
  journal={Economic Botany},
The Lowland Mayan culture has been one of the most successful in Mesoamerica. Being an agricultural society, part of their success was based on plant genetic resources which satisfied their needs of social reproduction. This article reviews recent evidence on early agriculture in the geographic area where Lowland Maya culture originated, and discusses its implications for the study of plant domestication and evolution under human selection within this cultural sub-area. Questions of interest… 

Origins of the Maya Forest Garden: Maya Resource Management

Abstract There is growing interest in the ecology of the Maya Forest past, present, and future, as well as in the role of humans in the transformation of this ecosystem. In this paper, we bring

Contemporary Maya Food System in the Lowlands of Northern Yucatan

Lowland Maya culture can be traced back to around 1200–1000 BC in the lowlands of Belize. Their subsequent expansion and settlement in the northern portion of the Yucatan Peninsula was possible,

Domestication and Genetics of Papaya: A Review

Evidence from different disciplines strongly suggest that papaya originated and was domesticated in Mesoamerica, and that wild populations in the region possess, still, high genetic diversity compared to the domesticated papaya.

Some aspects of avocado (Persea americana Mill.) diversity and domestication in Mesoamerica

A survey of issues from the earliest to present time in Mesoamerica on the origin, dispersion, and domestication of the avocado species that remain to be answered.

Unity in diversity—food plants and fungi of Sakartvelo (Republic of Georgia), Caucasus

This paper analyzes the use of food plants in the 80% of Georgia not occupied by Russian forces and finds that overall food plant knowledge is widely spread all-across Georgia, and broadly maintained.

Can the Introduction of Modern Crop Varieties in their Centre of Origin Affect Local Ecological Knowledge? A Case Study of Papaya in the Yucatan Peninsula

The introduction of the maradol variety has contributed to the erosion of LEK of the reproductive ecology of papaya, and most informants were unable to differentiate male and female plants.

Morphological diversity of Huaya India fruits (Melicoccus oliviformis Kunth) in the Maya Lowlands

The importance of the Maya culture in the generation and maintenance of diversity of the Huaya India, as well as the importance of initiating programs for the management, sustainable utilization and conservation of this species in the Maya Lowlands of Mexico are highlighted.

The Avocado (Persea Americana, Lauraceae) Crop in Mesoamerica: 10,000 Years of History

ABSTRACT Abstract. The most ancient evidence of the existence of the avocado tree (Persea americana, Lauraceae) in Mesoamerica is about 10,000 years ago in Coaxcatlan, Puebla (Mexico). Since then,

Ethnoecology of the Yucatec Maya: Symbolism, Knowledge and Management of Natural Resources

There is a growing interest worldwide in adopting interdisciplinary approaches for studying the complex and dynamic interplay between societies and landscapes. During the last few years,

Agrodiversity of Hylocereus undatus in Maya Homegardens: Management and Genetic Variability

It is concluded that homegardens in Yucatan are important in conserving the regional biocultural heritage of dragonfruit.



Documenting plant domestication: the consilience of biological and archaeological approaches.

  • B. D. Smith
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2001
In this issue of PNAS, two articles provide a welcome new addition in this area of research, while also underscoring how much is still to be learned about the initial domestication of maize, and more generally, about agricultural origins in Mexico.

Comparative Analysis of the Río Balsas and Tehuacán Models for the Origin of Maize

This paper examines the archaeological and biological evidence for shifts in human subsistence strategies during the transition from hunting and foraging to maize agriculture as posited in the Río

Early Agriculture in the Maya Lowlands

Wetland research in northern Belize provides the earliest evidence for development of agriculture in the Maya Lowlands. Pollen data confirm the introduction of maize and manioc before 3000 B.C.

Origin and environmental setting of ancient agriculture in the lowlands of Mesoamerica.

Archaeological research in the Gulf Coast of Tabasco reveals the earliest record of maize cultivation in Mexico. The first farmers settled along beach ridges and lagoons of the Grijalva River delta.

The Initial Domestication of Cucurbita pepo in the Americas 10,000 Years Ago

Nine accelerator mass spectrometer radiocarbon dates on specimens document the cultivation of C. pepo by the inhabitants of Guila Naquitz cave between 10,000 to 8000 calendar years ago (9000 to 7000 carbon-14 years before the present), which predates maize, beans, and other directly dated domesticates in the Americas by more than 4000 years.

The earliest archaeological maize (Zea mays L.) from highland Mexico: new accelerator mass spectrometry dates and their implications.

  • D. PipernoK. V. Flannery
  • Medicine, Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2001
Results suggest that the cultural practices that led to Zea domestication probably occurred elsewhere in Mexico, and Guilá Naquitz Cave has now yielded the earliest macrofossil evidence for the domestication of two major American crop plants, squash and maize.

RAPD and isozyme analysis of genetic relationships between Carica papaya and wild relatives

Wild relatives of papaya (Carica papaya) from central southern America were investigated using isozyme and RAPD analysis and seven other species were found to be relatively distant from papaya providing no indication of the genetic origin of Papaya.

Molecular evidence for an Andean origin and a secondary gene pool for the Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) using chloroplast DNA

Chloroplast DNA diversity has been examined using PCR-RFLP and RFLP strategies for phylogenetic studies in the genus Phaseolus and Andean forms of the Lima bean are found to be more closely related to the 3 Andean wild species than its Mesoamerican forms.

Molecular analysis of crosses between Tripsacum dactyloides and Zea diploperennis (Poaceae)

  • M. Eubanks
  • Biology
    Theoretical and Applied Genetics
  • 1997
DNA fingerprinting verified hybrid plants obtained by crossing Eastern gamagrass, Tripsacum dactyloides L., and perennial teosinte with characteristics intermediate to the key morphological traits that differentiate domesticated maize from its wild relatives.

Cuello : an early Maya community in Belize

Acknowledgements 1. The Maya and their civilization: Introduction: the geography, chronology and achievements of the Maya Norman Hammond 2. Archaeological investigations at Cuello, 1975-1987 Norman