Maize in Pre-Columbian America

654 WordsFeb 4, 20183 Pages
Maize is a wild plant and was discovered by Indians. It belongs to the same grass family as barley, rye, rice, wheat, and oats. When the Pilgrims landed in North America in 1620, the Indians gave them maize to eat. They also showed the Pilgrims how to grow maize. The Pilgrims called the maize “corn”, which mean grains and Americans still call it corn today. The word corn has a different meaning depending on what country you are in. According to the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University, corn in England means wheat and in Scotland and Ireland, it means barley or oats (www.agron.iastate.edu). By drawing on documents and reports from the Pre Columbian American era, I plan to discuss how corn was discovered, the importance of it, and how it was used by Pre Columbian Americans. Corn originated in Mesoamerican. Archeological evidence of corn's early presence in the western hemisphere was identified from corn pollen grain considered to be 80,000 years old and obtained from drill cores 200 feet below Mexico City (www.agron.iastate.edu). Evidence from bat caves in New Mexico also identified corncobs that were approximately 5,600 years old (www.agron.iastate.edu). Corn was domesticated by the native people and it became the most important cultivated plant in ancient America. According to Gibson and Benson, cultivated corn came about by natural crossings, possibly with gamagrass to yield teosinte and then with backcrossing of teosinte to primitive maize to
Open Document