ASU In the News

Chocolate may have been part of ancient American Southwest diet

Recent research implies that chocolate was being consumed by the indigenous people of present-day Utah in the eighth century.

According to husband-and-wife team Dorothy Washburn, a University of Pennsylvania archaeologist, and chemist William Washburn of Bristol-Myers Squibb, ceramic bowls from this region and era bear traces of chocolate, a Mesoamerican product.

While the findings hint at a new link between the ancient peoples of Mesoamerica and the American Southwest, some archaeologists are questioning if the detected substance is really chocolate. ASU archaeologist Ben Nelson is among them.

A professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Nelson told Science Now that he believes there would be stories or references to cacao in the record if it had been commonly consumed in the American Southwest at the time.

Article Source: Science Now
Rebecca Howe

Editor associate, School of Human Evolution and Social Change