People living in Chaco Canyon in America’s Southwest around A.D. 1000 may have drunk cacao imported from Mexico
Americans liked their chocolate drinks tall and frothy long before Starbucks. People were making cacao beverages in the American Southwest as early as 1000 A.D., suggests a new chemical analysis of ancient jars.
The findings, published online February 2 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, report the earliest known use of cacao north of the U.S.–Mexico border and may stir up debate regarding the Chaco Canyon culture and its relationship with Mesoamerican societies to the south.
Scientists have long puzzled over the purpose of tall, cylindrical jars found in the northwest New Mexico site known