Currency exchange and the gift of the gods

Due to the near-mysterious importance of cacao to the Maya people, its seed production was carefully controlled by the leaders of northern Yucatan, with trees planted only in The forest is sacred.

However, no modern researcher has been able to locate these ancient forests, until now.

Some researchers in Brigham Young University, including Prof. Richard Terry and colleagues Bryce Brown and Christopher Balzotti worked closely with archaeologists from the United States and Mexico to identify the places where the Maya people used to locate The perfect blend of moisture, calm and shade Cocoa trees are required.

Although the drier climate of the Yucatan Peninsula is unsuitable for cocoa growth, the team found that A large number of karst cavities (the valleys) located on the peninsula, provides a microclimate with suitable conditions.

As shown in a study recently published in Journal of Archaeological Science ReportsThe team conducted soil analyzes on 11 of these streams and found that the soil of 9 of them contained Theobromine and caffeine testsTypical biomarkers of cocoa.

Archaeologists also found evidence of ancient ceremonial structuresprocession stairs, stone carvings, altars, and offerings such as jade and pottery (including small ceramic cocoa pods).

the professor. Terry said:We’ve been looking for theobromine for several years now, and find traces of cocoa in some places we didn’t expect. We were also amazed to see such ceremonial artifacts. My collaborators lowered themselves into one of these sewers, chanting: crazy! Here are some structures!“.

The results obtained from the study indicate that the “sacred” cocoa groves played an important role for the Maya in both their ancient rituals and trade routes, and had a significant impact. over the entire Central American economy.

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It is also possible that the Maya leaders, who controlled cocoa production, ordered the development “Primary Highway”, over 70 miles longwhich passed through an area of ​​enormous commercial importance through hundreds of rock craters.

Evidence for cocoa cultivation, combined with archaeological finds, supports the hypothesis of how this plant was important in the ideological transmission between the faces of deities for worship in the local population.

Now we know these Links between religious structures and crops placed in these sewers. Knowing that cocoa beans are also used as currency means that money can be grown and controlled. This new understanding creates a rich historical narrative of Maya culture deeply charged with economic, political, and spiritual value.Professor Terry concluded.

We also relive cocoa’s past, explore the gluttonous history of chocolate and try to understand what lies behind a unique type of chocolate like pink chocolate.

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