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This book examines one of the thorniest problems of ancient American archaeology: the origins and domestication of maize. Using a variety of scientific techniques, Duccio Bonavia explores the development of maize, its adaptation to varying climates and its fundamental role in ancient American cultures. An appendix (by Alexander Grobman) provides the first-ever comprehensive compilation of maize genetic data, correlating this data with the archaeological evidence presented throughout the book. This book provides a unique interpretation of questions of dating and evolution, supported by extensive data, following the spread of maize from South to North America and eventually to Europe and beyond.