Ancient farmers were growing sunflowers in Mexico more than 4,000 years before the Spaniards arrived, according to a team of researchers that includes Florida State University anthropologist Mary D. Pohl.
In an article published in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), Pohl and lead author David Lentz of the University of Cincinnati said their evidence confirms that farmers began growing sunflowers in Mexico by 2600 B.C. The paper is in response to scientists who still believe that sunflowers were first domesticated as an agricultural crop in eastern North America and that the Spaniards introduced the sunflower to Mexico from further north.
“The evidence shows that sunflower was actually domesticated twice -- in Mexico and then again hundreds of miles away in the Middle Mississippi Valley,” Pohl said.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Sunflower Debate Ends in Mexico, Researchers Say