How old is cacao? New research pushes back date

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2012 file photo, a worker holds dried cacao seeds at a plantation in Cano Rico, Venezuela. A paper published Monday, Oct. 29, 2018 says tests indicate traces of cacao on artifacts from a South American archeologic site estimated to be 5,400 years old. That makes about 1,500 years older than cacao’s known domestication in Central America. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
FILE - In this April 16, 2015 file photo, a cacao pod hangs from a tree at the Agropampatar chocolate farm co-op in El Clavo, Venezuela. A paper published Monday, Oct. 29, 2018 says tests indicate traces of cacao on artifacts from a South American archeologic site estimated to be 5,400 years old. That makes about 1,500 years older than cacao’s known domestication in Central America. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2012 file photo, a worker shows the inside of a cacao pod at a cacao plantation in Cano Rico, Venezuela. A paper published Monday, Oct. 29, 2018 says tests indicate traces of cacao on artifacts from a South American archeologic site estimated to be 5,400 years old. That makes about 1,500 years older than cacao’s known domestication in Central America. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

NEW YORK — New research is providing fresh clues about the history of cacao, a key ingredient in chocolate.

A study published Monday says tests indicate traces of cacao on artifacts from an archaeologic site in South America estimated to be 5,400 years old. That's about 1,500 years older than cacao's known domestication in Central America.

Cameron McNeil of Lehman College in New York says that makes it the earliest known site with domesticated cacao.

Researchers say the ancient civilization likely didn't use cacao to make chocolate, but that the seed was likely used for food and drinks.

People also read these

Police make arrest in fatal shooting at Caribbean...

Sep 6, 2016

Police say they've made an arrest in connection with one of two fatal shootings during a New York...

Defiance, not fear, as Berlin Christmas market...

Dec 22, 2016

Berlin stall holder Axel Kaiser recalls hearing a "dull bang" and seeing a nearby wooden Christmas...

Oprah Winfrey's loss is Weight Watchers' gain

Dec 22, 2016

Oprah Winfrey's loss is Weight Watchers' gain

Winter storm weakens but travel still hazardous...

Dec 27, 2016

The fury of the winter storm that swept into the northern Great Plains on Christmas Day was...

What drops on New Year's Eve? Not just Times...

Dec 27, 2016

That glittering ball in Times Square may be the best-known object dropping on New Year's Eve, but...

About Us

The World Insiders brings you exclusive coverage from across the globe in a timely, easy to consume format sourced directly from our regional media partners.

Contact us: sales[at]theworldinsiders.com

Subscribe Now!