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Methodological issues related to bioturbation involved in dating that record combine with its similarity to a pollen sequence from the coastal plain of Tabasco, Mexico, to suggest that the inception of maize cultivation in that record occurred as much as 1,000–2,000 years more recently than the previously accepted 7,000 years ago.Our analysis thereby has substantive, theoretical, and methodological implications for understanding the complex process of maize domestication.
Like the Tabasco core, the Veracruz core comes from within 15 km of the current shoreline, records the Holocene sequence of depositional environments characteristic of the coastal plain of the southern Gulf Coast, and reveals how people modified that environment over the last 5,000 years (Fig. As sea level rose during the early Holocene, marine lagoons fringed by mangrove forests formed behind barrier islands (1, 10, 11).
Scale of block diagram varies because of perspective; core locality is 24 km northwest of Veracruz.
This report contributes a sedimentary pollen sequence from the coastal plain of the state of Veracruz (Fig.
During the estuarine conditions of the mid-Holocene, people fished, gathered clams such as , and cultivated maize (11).
As brackish estuaries gave way to freshwater lakes and wetlands, people ditched them and mounded the spoil into planting platforms for maize cultivation.