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New models of analysis and examination, as well as breakthroughs in deciphering Mesoamerican writing, have not too long ago created a watershed of info on the regional use and significance of cacao, or chocolate as it is commonly named right now. McNeil brings collectively scholars in the fields of archaeology, historical past, artwork history, linguistics, epigraphy, botany, chemistry, and cultural anthropology to check out the domestication, planning, representation, and significance of cacao in ancient and modern day communities of the Americas, with a concentration on its use in Mesoamerica. Cacao was employed by a lot of cultures in the pre-Columbian Americas as an important component of rituals linked with birth, coming of age, marriage, and death, and was strongly linked with ideas of power and rulership. Although Europeans have for hundreds of years claimed that they introduced \"chocolate\" as a sauce for food items, proof from ancient royal tombs indicates cacao was utilised in a selection of food items as well as beverages in ancient instances. In addition, the volume\'s authors present information that supports a better importance for cacao in pre-Columbian South America, where ancient vessels depicting cacao pods have recently been recognized. From the botanical structure and chemical makeup of \"Theobroma cacao\" and methods of identifying it in the archaeological record, to the relevance of cacao for the duration of the Traditional period in Mesoamerica, to the effect of European arrival on the production and use of cacao, to modern uses in the Americas, this volume offers a richly informed account of the historical past and cultural significance of chocolate.
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