Ritual drinks in the pre-Hispanic US Southwest and Mexican Northwest.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Crown, Patricia L; Gu, Jiyan; Hurst, W Jeffrey; Ward, Timothy J; Bravenec, Ardith D; Ali, Syed; Kebert, Laura; Berch, Marlaina; Redman, Erin; Lyons, Patrick D; Merewether, Jamie; Phillips, David A; Reed, Lori S; Woodson, Kyle
Year of Publication: 2015
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Volume: 112
Issue: 37
Pagination: 11436-42
Date Published: 2015 Sep 15
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1091-6490
Keywords: Archaeology, Beverages, Cacao, Caffeine, Ceremonial Behavior, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Cultural Characteristics, Food, Geography, History, Ancient, Humans, Ilex, Mexico, Southwestern United States, Tandem Mass Spectrometry

Chemical analyses of organic residues in fragments of pottery from 18 sites in the US Southwest and Mexican Northwest reveal combinations of methylxanthines (caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline) indicative of stimulant drinks, probably concocted using either cacao or holly leaves and twigs. The results cover a time period from around A.D. 750-1400, and a spatial distribution from southern Colorado to northern Chihuahua. As with populations located throughout much of North and South America, groups in the US Southwest and Mexican Northwest likely consumed stimulant drinks in communal, ritual gatherings. The results have implications for economic and social relations among North American populations.

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1511799112
Alternate Journal: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.