Chocolate in Mesoamerica
Chocolate was one of the most desired foods of Mesoamerica and was consumed by the Olmec, Maya, and Aztec civilizations, amongst others. Its consumption even spread via trade routes to other parts of the Americas including the Chaco Canyon...
Vase for pouring chocolate, earthenware, Belize, Late Classic Maya, Altun-Ha style. (De Young Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco)
Ancient Mesoamerica (modern-day Mexico and Central America) witnessed an extraordinary flourishing of cultures from the beginnings of the Olmec civilization around 1200 BCE, through the Maya civilization and on to the catastrophic fall of...
How to Read a Maya Glyph
For over three centuries, the ancient Maya flourished in Mesoamerica. They built giant stone pyramids surrounded by dense jungle, used a calendrical system that made many believe that 2012 would be the end of the world, and created a writing...
The Olmec civilization, located in ancient Mexico, prospered in Pre-Classical (Formative) Mesoamerica from c. 1200 BCE to c. 400 BCE. Monumental sacred complexes, massive stone sculptures, ball games, the drinking of chocolate, and animal...
Aztec Food & Agriculture
The Aztec civilization, which flourished in central Mexico between c. 1345 and 1521 CE, was able to provide an astonishingly wide range of agricultural produce thanks to a combination of climatic advantages, diverse artificial irrigation...
The History of Chocolate
A documentary on the history of chocolate.
Chaco Canyon was the center of a pre-Columbian civilization flourishing in the San Juan Basin of the American Southwest from the 9th to the 12th century CE. Chacoan civilization represents a singular period in the history of an ancient people...
Wedgwood Cup for Chocolate
A c. 1787 jasper stoneware cup and saucer for drinking chocolate produced by the Etruria factory of Josiah Wedgwood (1730-95). The central design shows Libya holding a cornucopia. (British Museum, London)
Maya Food & Agriculture
For the Maya, reliable food production was so important to their well-being that they closely linked the agricultural cycle to astronomy and religion. Important rituals and ceremonies were held in honour of specialised workers; from beekeepers...