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Archaeological Evidence of Teosinte Domestication from Guilá Naquitz, Oaxaca

Bruce F. Benz
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 98, No. 4 (Feb. 13, 2001), pp. 2104-2106
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3055008
Page Count: 3
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Abstract

Analysis of the three most ancient Zea mays inflorescence fragments from Guilá Naquitz, Oaxaca, Mexico shows they did not disarticulate naturally, indicating that agricultural selection of domesticated teosinte was underway by 5,400 14C years before the present (about 4,200 dendrocalibrated years B.C.). The cooccurrence of two-ranked specimens with two rows and four rows of grain and numerous additional morphological characteristics of these specimens support hypotheses based on molecular and quantitative genetic analyses that maize evolved from teosinte. Domestication of the wild ancestor of maize occurred before the end of the 5th millennium B.C.

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