New study suggests Belizean ancestors were consuming corn for thousands of years


Archaeologists studying an ancient Maya settlement in Belize have made an amazing discovery. They’ve concluded that people have been eating maize or corn for thousands of years. Explorers are getting close to pinpointing the era when humans turned from being hunters to being farmers.
Scientists from the University of Exeter in the UK recently completed their intensive study of human remains that were buried in the Maya Mountains. It’s possible the remains have been there for 10,000 years, but the scientists couldn’t be specific about that. The remains were surprisingly well-preserved.
They could be specific about other findings, however, especially those related to the diet of these people. Their findings show that, contrary to previous theories, people were eating corn more than 4000 years ago.
They clearly liked it because there was evidence they were eating large amounts of it.
Maize and corn are the same thing. When the English colonists arrived in the new world, the native people introduced them to a plant they called maize. The English labelled this plant Indian corn. Over time, genetic modifications led to corn with the uniformly yellow, sweet kernels that we think of as corn today.
Restaurants in the Cayo District frequently serve food with maize ingredients as their main base. Thus, there is the delicious supply of ‘enpanades’, ‘salbutes’ and corn-based drinks that can carry a worker throughout the day.
How did scientists discover what these ancient Maya were eating? They used a technique called radiocarbon dating of the bones.
They estimated that 4,700 years ago, corn or maize accounted for one-third of peoples’ diets. About 700 years later, it accounted for 70% of the typical human diet.
The findings show that corn has always been an important crop. It’s still important today when it accounts for a large percentage of the human diet globally. Every country is highly dependent on corn and corn products.