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Chaco Canyon Artifacts Show Signs Of Earliest Chocolate Consumption Outside Mesoamerica

Chaco Canyon has fueled scientific curiosity for more than a century, with each discovery made at the world heritage site spurring only more questions about the people who lived there.

One thing is for sure: chocolate was part of life at the once-bustling ceremonial and economic hub.

By analyzing 1,000-year-old pottery sherds, archaeologist Patricia Crown solved that mystery in recent years when she and a chemist at Hershey Company uncovered the first evidence of chocolate consumption beyond the cacao-growing regions of Mesoamerica.

That work has since shed more light on early trade routes and on the widespread use of cacao in the American Southwest. Chocolate residue has been found on sherds collected in Utah, Arizona and northern Mexico.

Crown is after the details now. Who got to drink the frothy libations and did the size of the mug matter?

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