The Domestication and Early Spread Of Manioc (Manihot Esculenta Crantz): A Brief Synthesis
2011 (English)In: Latin American antiquity, ISSN 1045-6635, Vol. 22, no 4, 452-468 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Owing to poor preservation of organic remains in humid environments, direct evidence of early manioc (Manihot esculenta Crantz) cultivation is exceptionally rare in datable archaeological contexts. Recent research summarized here offers new insights into the spatio-temporal framework of the initial domestication and early spread of manioc in the Neotropics. Integrating evidence from comparative plant genetics and paleoethnobotanic starch analysis to contribute to the archaeology of manioc origins, this review finds that (1) the strongest candidate for the botanical origin of domesticated manioc the wild progenitor of the root crop is the species Manihot esculenta subspecies flabellifolia (Pohl) Ciferri; (2) the geographical origin of manioc the bionic in which the progenitor evolved is most likely in the savannas, the Brazilian Cerrado, to the south of the Amazon rainforest; (3) the Cerrado is also, in our best estimate, the region of agricultural origin of initial cultivation: (4) domesticated manioc had spread from the agricultural origin by the early Holocene, possibly as early as 10,000 years ago, but certainly by 7000 B.C.; and (5) domesticated manioc was a readily available plant in most habitats of the Neotropics by the mid-Holocene, at least some 6500 years ago.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 22, no 4, 452-468 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-169624ISI: 000298825100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-169624DiVA: diva2:508009