Maize has been described as a primary catalyst to complex sociocultural development in the Americas. State of the art research on maize chronology, molecular biology, and stable carbon isotope research on ancient human diets have provided additional lines of evidence on the changing role of maize through time and space and its spread throughout the Americas. The multidisciplinary evidence from the social and biological sciences presented in this volume have generated a much more complex picture of the economic, political, and religious significance of maize. The volume also includes ethnographic research on the uses and roles of maize in indigenous cultures and a linguistic section that includes chapters on indigenous folk taxonomies and the role and meaning of maize to the development of civilization. Histories of Maize is the most comprehensive reference source on the botanical, genetic, archaeological, and anthropological aspects of ancient maize published to date. This book will appeal to a varied audience, and have no titles competiting with it because of its breadth and scope. The volume offers a single source of high quality summary information unavailable elsewhere.
"Histories of Maize is… certain to be the definitive source on the subject for a generation." Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara
"An absolute must for all serious researchers of this dynamic crop as well as students of New World Prehistory and the interested layperson." Catherine S. Fowler, Foundation Professor of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno
"It will be a key reference for biologists, anthropologists, and many others for decades to come." Gayle J. Fritz, Professor, Washington University in St. Louis
"Because this volume covers so many aspects of the evolution, dispersal and historical uses of maize, it is destined to be widely consulted by scholars and students alike." -Journal of Ethnobiology