704 pages, illus
Maize has been described as a primary catalyst to complex sociocultural development in the Americas. State of the art research on maize chronology, molecular biology, and stable carbon isotope research on ancient human diets have provided additional lines of evidence on the changing role of maize through time and space and its spread throughout the Americas. The multidisciplinary evidence from the social and biological sciences presented in this volume have generated a much more complex picture of the economic, political, and religious significance of maize. The volume also includes ethnographic research on the uses and roles of maize in indigenous cultures and a linguistic section that includes chapters on indigenous folk taxonomies and the role and meaning of maize to the development of civilization.
Histories of Maize is a fascinating multidisciplinary synthesis of cutting edge research into one of humankind's most important staples, building on the pioneer researches of Richard MacNeish and Donald Lathrap over thirty years ago. This is all you need to know about the history of maize and much more, and certain to be the definitive source on the subject for a generation. -Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara "This volume edited by Staller, Benz and Tykot provides a major and much needed update to Hastorf and Johannesson's (1994)
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