Evidence for a Cultivar and a Chronology from Patterned Wetlands in Central Veracruz, Mexico

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Science  07 Oct 1988:
Vol. 242, Issue 4875, pp. 105-107
DOI: 10.1126/science.242.4875.105


The patterning found in certain wetlands of lowland Mesoamerica has added an important element to the subsistence system that may be attributed to pre-Hispanic inhabitants of the region. The form of the remains, largely expressed in terms of surface vegetation, suggests agriculture on planting platforms, separated by canals. The physical and chemical aspects of the stratigraphy have clarified depositional environments but have not indicated agricultural horizons. Maize phytoliths at about 1 meter below the surface in two Central Veracruzan wetlands do confirm the practice of agriculture. Associated ceramics indicate wetlands agriculture was practiced by A.D. 500 and perhaps earlier.