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Maize may have fueled ancient Andean civilization

Prehistoric skeletons yield evidence that farming of crop started early in Peru’s mountains and led to the rise of an early state society

Prehistoric communities in one part of Peru’s Andes Mountains may have gone from maize to amazingly complex. Bioarchaeologist Brian Finucane’s analyses of human skeletons excavated in this region indicate that people living there 2,800 years ago regularly ate maize. This is the earliest evidence for maize as a staple food in the rugged terrain of highland Peru, he says.

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