This is the least bizarre news item that George Suarez at NBC has sent to me and a select group of his twisted friends. His last one was a link to the latest on the court jester of Tonga.
But this one was just for me, apparently. I thought all of this was covered in Mike and Sophie Coe's "The True History of Chocolate". Must be a slow news day.
Oh, and look at some of Justin Kerr's photos of cacao-related Maya pottery.
You can search his archive at FAMSI for more.
Early Mayas were chocoholics, scientists say
LONDON (Reuters) - Humans developed a fondness for
chocolate about 2,600 years ago when the Mayas used earthenware
teapots to prepare cacao drinks, American researchers said
The discovery by scientists from Hershey Foods in Hershey,
Pennsylvania and the University of Texas in Austin means
chocoholism began 1,000 years earlier than scientists had
"The presence of cacao in Maya spouted vessels at Colha
indicates that its usage predates evidence from Rio Azul (an
ancient Mayan city) by almost a millennium," Jeffrey Hurst, of
Hershey Foods, said in a report in the journal Nature.
The scientists analyzed ancient residue from the pots found
in an archeological site at Colha in northern Belize and found
it contained traces of theobromine, a compound found in cocoa
plants. They suspect the pots were used to pour cocoa mixtures
from one container to another to form a froth, which was the
Mayas' favorite part of the drink.
"We now know that the Maya had a long, continuous history
of preparing and consuming liquid chocolate from the Preclassic
period through to the Spanish Conquest," Hurst said.