Phytolith Analysis of Archeological Soils: Evidence for Maize Cultivation in Formative Ecuador

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Science  13 Jan 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4325, pp. 177-178
DOI: 10.1126/science.199.4325.177


Soil samples from the archeological sites of Real Alto and OGCh-20, Santa Elena Peninsula, Ecuador, show the presence of cross-shaped silica bodies identifiable as maize (Zea mays L.) phytoliths by size comparison with known wild grass and maize phytoliths. These results support arguments for the cultivation of maize at 2450 B.C. in coastal Ecuador.