Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mummy's Amazing American Maize

Date:
February 12, 2007
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
The far-reaching influence of Spanish and Portuguese colonisers appears not to have extended to South American agriculture, scientists studying a 1,400-year-old Andean mummy have found. The University of Manchester researchers compared the DNA of ancient maize found in the funerary offerings of the mummy and at other sites in northwest Argentina with that grown in the same region today.

Photograph of the mummy and a close-up of the maize.
Credit: Dr Verónica Lia, Universidad de Buenos Aires

The far-reaching influence of Spanish and Portuguese colonisers appears not to have extended to South American agriculture, scientists studying a 1,400-year-old Andean mummy have found.

Related Articles


The University of Manchester researchers compared the DNA of ancient maize found in the funerary offerings of the mummy and at other sites in northwest Argentina with that grown in the same region today.

Surprisingly, they found both ancient and modern samples of the crop were genetically almost identical indicating that modern European influence has not been as great as previously thought.

"The entire culture of South America changed when the Europeans arrived in the 15th century - everything from the language to the whole way of life," explained Professor Terry Brown, who headed the research in the Faculty of Life Sciences.

"Maize is the staple food crop of the region but prior to colonisation it also had a ritual significance - the indigenous people were amazed by maize and even worshipped it.

"Given the immense changes that took place in South America following the arrival of the Europeans it is surprising that this crop has remained unaltered for hundreds of years."

Using the new facilities in the Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre - a cross-faculty institute at the University - Professor Brown is now examining the DNA of ancient maize from Peru, up to 6,000 years old, to determine if these much older specimens are also similar to modern crops.

The research was published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Mummy's Amazing American Maize." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070211202525.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2007, February 12). Mummy's Amazing American Maize. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070211202525.htm
University of Manchester. "Mummy's Amazing American Maize." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070211202525.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What An Ancient Jawbone Could Tell Us About Human Evolution

What An Ancient Jawbone Could Tell Us About Human Evolution

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) — A 2.8 million-year-old jawbone could represent the most ancient member of our genus ever discovered. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

AP (Mar. 5, 2015) — The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is ending its iconic elephant acts. The circus&apos; parent company, Feld Entertainment, told the AP exclusively that the acts will be phased out by 2018 over growing public concern about the animals. (March 5) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Billionaire Paul Allen and Team Find Sunken Japanese Warship Off Philippines

Billionaire Paul Allen and Team Find Sunken Japanese Warship Off Philippines

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 4, 2015) — A team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen finds a sunken Japanese World War 2 warship off the coast of the Philippines. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Long-Lost Ship Found? Microsoft Co-Founder Uncovers Wreckage

Long-Lost Ship Found? Microsoft Co-Founder Uncovers Wreckage

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has discovered the wreckage of the battleship Musashi in the central Philippines. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins