How the sweet potato crossed the Pacific: Another PNAS paper looks at how the sweet potato made its way from Sou...

How the sweet potato crossed the Pacific: Another PNAS paper looks at how the sweet potato made its way from Sou...

The history of sweet potato in the Pacific has long been an enigma. Archaeological, linguistic, and ethnobotanical data suggest that prehistoric human-mediated dispersal events contributed to the distribution in Oceania of this American domesticate. According to the “tripartite hypothesis,” sweet potato was introduced into Oceania from South America in pre-Columbian times and was then later newly introduced, and diffused widely across the Pacific, by Europeans via two historically documented routes from Mexico and the Caribbean. Although sweet potato is the most convincing example of putative pre-Columbian connections between human occupants of Polynesia and South America, the search for genetic evidence of pre-Columbian dispersal of sweet potato into Oceania has been inconclusive. Our study attempts to fill this gap. Using complementary sets of markers (chloroplast and nu...

Full article: http://www.southeastasianarchaeology.com/2013/01/30/how-t...

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Sweet sips from way back when…

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