New World crops

The phrase "New World crops" is usually used to describe crops, food and otherwise, that were native to the New World (mostly the Americas) before 1492 CE and not found anywhere else at that time. Many of these crops are now grown around the world and have often become an integral part of the cuisine of various cultures in the Old World.

Notable among these crops are the Three Sisters: maize, winter squash, and climbing beans.

New World crops by type[1]
Cereals little barley, maize (corn), maygrass, wild rice
Pseudocereals amaranth, knotweed, goosefoot (quinoa), sunflower, chia
Fruits açaí, acerola, avocado, blueberry, cashew apple, cherimoya, cranberry, curuba, feijoa, granadilla or lulo, guava (guayaba), huckleberry, jabuticaba, jerivá, jurubeba, macaúba, papaya, pawpaw, passionfruit, peppers, persimmon (American), pineapple, pitanga, pitaya, prickly pear, soursop, garden strawberry, sugar-apple, tomato, tomatillo, tucum
Melons chayote, squashes (including pumpkins)
Beans common bean, lima bean, peanut, scarlet runner bean, tepary bean
Nuts American chestnut, Araucaria, black walnut, Brazil nut, cashew, hickory, pecan, shagbark hickory
Roots and Tubers arracacha, arrowroot, jicama, camas root, hopniss, leren, manioc (yuca, cassava), mashua or cubio, oca, potato, sweet potato, ulluco, yacón, sunroot (Jerusalem artichoke)
Fiber agave, yucca, cotton (long-staple and upland)
Other achiote (annatto), balsam of Peru, canna, chicle (ingredient in chewing gum), coca leaf, cocoa bean, cochineal (red dye), guarana, logwood, maple syrup, poinsettia flowers, rubber tree, tobacco, vanilla, yerba mate
New World Domesticated plants
Montage of New World Domesticated plants. Clockwise, starting from top left: 1. Maize (Zea mays) 2. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) 3. Potato (Solanum tuberosum) 4. Vanilla (Vanilla) 5. Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) 6. Cacao (Theobroma cacao) 7. Tobacco (Nicotiana rustica)


The new world developed agriculture by at least 8000 BC.[2][3][4] The following table shows when each New World crop was first domesticated.

See also


  1. ^ Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs and Steel, W. W. Norton & Company, 1999, p. 126.
  2. ^ Smith, A.F. (1994). The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture, and Cookery. University of South Carolina Press. p. 13. ISBN 1570030006.
  3. ^ Hirst, K. Kris. "Plant Domestication – Table of Dates and Places". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  4. ^ Dolores, R.; Piperno, Anthony J.; Ranere, Irene Holst; Iriarte, Jose; Dickau, Ruth (2009). "Starch grain and phytolith evidence for early ninth millennium B.P. maize from the Central Balsas River Valley, Mexico". PNAS. 106 (13): 5019–5024. Bibcode:2009PNAS..106.5019P. doi:10.1073/pnas.0812525106. PMC 2664021. PMID 19307570.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b Smith, Bruce D. (February 2001). "Documenting plant domestication: The consilience of biological and archaeological approaches". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 98 (4): 1324–1326. doi:10.1073/pnas.98.4.1324. PMC 33375. PMID 11171946. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  6. ^ Spooner, DM; et al. (2005). "A single domestication for potato based on multilocus amplified fragment length polymorphism genotyping". PNAS. 102 (41): 14694–99. doi:10.1073/pnas.0507400102. PMC 1253605. PMID 16203994.
  7. ^ Perry, Linda; Kent V. Flannery (July 17, 2007). "Precolumbian use of chili peppers in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 104 (29): 11905–11909. doi:10.1073/pnas.0704936104. PMC 1924538. PMID 17620613. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  8. ^ Ranere, Anthony J.; Dolores R. Piper; Irene Holst; Ruth Dickau; José Iriarte (January 23, 2009). "The cultural and chronological context of early Holocene maize and squash domestication in the Central Balsas River Valley, Mexico". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106 (13): 5014–5018. doi:10.1073/pnas.0812590106. PMC 2664064. PMID 19307573. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Earliest-Known Evidence Of Peanut, Cotton And Squash Farming Found". Science Daily. June 29, 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  10. ^ Galindo-Tovar, María Elena; Arzate-Fernández, Amaury M.; Ogata-Aguilar, Nisao & Landero-Torres, Ivonne (2007). "The avocado (Persea americana, Lauraceae) crop in Mesoamerica: 10,000 years of history" (PDF). Harvard Papers in Botany. 12 (2): 325–334, page 325. doi:10.3100/1043-4534(2007)12[325:TAPALC]2.0.CO;2. JSTOR 41761865. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 October 2015.
  11. ^ "The Domestication History of Cotton". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  12. ^ "History of Chocolate Timeline - Origin of Chocolate".
  13. ^ García, Jorge Luis. 2012. The Foods and crops of the Muisca: a dietary reconstruction of the intermediate chiefdoms of Bogotá (Bacatá) and Tunja (Hunza), Colombia (M.A.), 1–201. University of Central Florida. Accessed 2016-07-08.
  14. ^ Smith, A. F. (1994). The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture, and Cookery. Columbia SC, US: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1-57003-000-0.
Bare Island projectile point

The Bare Island projectile point is a stone projectile point of prehistoric indigenous peoples of North America. It was named by Fred Kinsey in 1959 for examples recovered at the Kent-Halley site on Bare Island in Pennsylvania.

Bogotá savanna

The Bogotá savanna is a montane savanna, located in the southwestern part of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in the center of Colombia. The Bogotá savanna has an extent of 4,251.6 square kilometres (1,641.6 sq mi) and an average altitude of 2,550 metres (8,370 ft). The savanna is situated in the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes.

The Bogotá savanna is crossed from northeast to southwest by the 375 kilometres (233 mi) long Bogotá River, which at the southwestern edge of the plateau forms the Tequendama Falls (Salto del Tequendama). Other rivers, such as the Subachoque, Bojacá, Fucha, Soacha and Tunjuelo Rivers, tributaries of the Bogotá River, form smaller valleys with very fertile soils dedicated to agriculture and cattle-breeding.

Before the Spanish conquest of the Bogotá savanna, the area was inhabited by the indigenous Muisca, who formed a loose confederation of various caciques, named the Muisca Confederation. The Bogotá savanna, known as Bacatá, was ruled by the zipa. The people specialised in agriculture, the mining of emeralds, trade and especially the extraction of rock salt from rocks in Zipaquirá, Nemocón, Tausa and other areas on the Bogotá savanna. The salt extraction, a task exclusively of the Muisca women, gave the Muisca the name "The Salt People".

In April 1536, a group of around 800 conquistadors left the relative safety of the Caribbean coastal city of Santa Marta to start a strenuous expedition up the Magdalena River, the main fluvial artery of Colombia. Word got around among the Spanish colonisers that deep in the unknown Andes, a rich area with an advanced civilisation must exist. These tales bore the -not so much- legend of El Dorado; the city or man of gold. The Muisca, skilled goldworkers, held a ritual in Lake Guatavita where the new zipa would cover himself in gold dust and jump from a raft into the cold waters of the 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) high lake to the northeast of the Bogotá savanna.

After a journey of almost a year, where the Spanish lost over 80% of their soldiers, the conquistadors following the Suárez River, reached the Bogotá savanna in March 1537. The zipa who ruled the Bogotá savanna at the arrival of the Spanish was Tisquesusa. The Muisca posed little resistance to the Spanish strangers and Tisquesusa was defeated in April 1537 in Funza, in the centre of the savanna. He fled towards the western hills and died of his wounds in Facatativá, on the southwestern edge of the Bogotá savanna. The Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada established the New Kingdom of Granada with capital Santa Fe de Bogotá on August 6, 1538. This started a process of colonisation, evangelisation and submittance of the Muisca to the new rule. Between 65 and 80% of the indigenous people perished due to European diseases as smallpox and typhus. The Spanish introduced new crops, replacing many of the New World crops that the Muisca cultivated.

Over the course of the 16th to early 20th century, the Bogotá savanna was sparsely populated and industrialised. The rise in population during the twentieth century and the expansion of agriculture and urbanisation reduced the biodiversity and natural habitat of the Bogotá savanna severely. Today, the Metropolitan Area of Bogotá on the Bogotá savanna hosts more than ten million people. Bogotá is the biggest city worldwide at altitudes above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft). The many rivers on the savanna are highly contaminated and efforts to solve the environmental problems are conducted in the 21st century.

Celt (tool)

In archaeology, a celt is a long, thin, prehistoric, stone or bronze tool similar to an adze, a hoe or axe-like tool.


A cist ( or ; also kist ;

from Greek: κίστη or Germanic Kiste) is a small stone-built coffin-like box or ossuary used to hold the bodies of the dead. Examples can be found across Europe and in the Middle East.

A cist may have been associated with other monuments, perhaps under a cairn or long barrow. Several cists are sometimes found close together within the same cairn or barrow. Often ornaments have been found within an excavated cist, indicating the wealth or prominence of the interred individual.

This old word is preserved in the Swedish language, where "kista" is the word for a funerary coffin.

Cumberland point

A Cumberland point is a lithic projectile point, attached to a spear and used as a hunting tool. These sturdy points were intended for use as thrusting weapons and employed by various mid-Paleo-Indians (c. 11,000 BP) in the Southeastern US in the killing of large game mammals.

Eden point

Eden Points are a form of chipped stone projectile points associated with a sub-group of the larger Plano culture. Sometimes also called Yuma points, the first Eden points were discovered in washouts in Yuma County, Colorado. They were first discovered in situ at an ancient buffalo kill site near Eden, Wyoming by Harold J. Cook in 1941. The site, named after discoverer O. M. Finley, eventually yielded 24 projectile points, including eight Eden points, eight Scottsbluff points and one complete Cody point, both other sub-groups within the Plano group. Eden points are believed to have been used between 10,000 and 6,000 years ago by paleo-indian hunters in the western plains.

Eden points are the most common paleo-indian projectile points found today. They have been discovered across the western plain states, including Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, and Montana.


Etxeberria (Basque pronunciation: [etʃeβeri.a], modern Basque spelling) is a Basque language placename and surname from the Basque Country in Spain and France, meaning 'the new house'. It shows one meaningful variant, Etxeberri (no Basque article –a, 'the'), and a number of later spelling variants produced in Spanish and other languages. Etxebarri(a) is a western Basque dialectal variant, with the same etymology. Etxarri (Echarri) is attested as stemming from Etxaberri.The original surname is often associated with the construction of new farms (baserri) after the introduction of New World crops like maize and potatoes. In many Basque areas, the surname Etxeberri(a) was formerly associated to the naturalized Roma people, while in the French Basque Country it was sometimes translated to Gascon Casenave/Cazenave.

Folsom point

Folsom points are a distinct form of knapped stone projectile points associated with the Folsom tradition of North America. The style of tool-making was named after the Folsom Site located in Folsom, New Mexico, where the first sample was found by George McJunkin within the bone structure of a bison in 1908. The Folsom point was identified as a unique style of projectile point in 1926.

Grattoir de côté

A Grattoir de côté (translates from French as Side Scraper) is an archaeological term for a ridged variety of steep-scrapers distinguished by a working edge on one side. They were found at various archaeological sites in Lebanon including Ain Cheikh and Jdeideh II and are suggested to date to Upper Paleolithic stages three or four (Antelian).

Grinding slab

In archaeology, a grinding slab is a ground stone artifact generally used to grind plant materials into usable size, though some slabs were used to shape other ground stone artifacts. Some grinding stones are portable; others are not and, in fact, may be part of a stone outcropping.

Grinding slabs used for plant processing typically acted as a coarse surface against which plant materials were ground using a portable hand stone, or mano ("hand" in Spanish). Variant grinding slabs are referred to as metates or querns, and have a ground-out bowl. Like all ground stone artifacts, grinding slabs are made of large-grained materials such as granite, basalt, or similar tool stones.

Lamoka projectile point

Lamoka projectile points are stone projectile points manufactured by Native Americans what is now the northeastern United States, generally in the time interval of 3500-2500 B.C. They predate the invention of the bow and arrow, and are therefore not true "arrowheads", but rather atlatl dart points. They derive their name from the specimens found at the Lamoka site in Schuyler County, New York.

New World

The New World is one of the names used for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas (including nearby islands such as those of the Caribbean and Bermuda), and Oceania.

The term originated in the early 16th century after Europeans made landfall in what would later be called the Americas in the age of discovery, expanding the geographical horizon of classical geographers, who had thought of the world as consisting of Africa, Europe, and Asia, collectively now referred to as the Old World (a.k.a. Afro-Eurasia).

The phrase gained prominence after the publication of a pamphlet titled Mundus Novus attributed to Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.The Americas were also referred to as the "fourth part of the world".

Pesse canoe

The Pesse canoe is believed to be the world's oldest known boat, and certainly the oldest known canoe. Carbon dating indicates that the boat was constructed during the early mesolithic period between 8040 BCE and 7510 BCE. It is now in the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands.

Plano point

In archeology, Plano point is flaked stone projectile points and tools created by the various Plano cultures of the North American Great Plains between 9000 BC and 6000 BC for hunting, and possibly to kill other humans.

They are bifacially worked and have been divided into numerous sub-groups based on variations in size, shape and function including Alberta points, Cody points, Frederick points, Eden points and Scottsbluff points. Plano points do not include the hollowing or 'fluting' found in Clovis and Folsom points.


In archeology, a racloir, also known as racloirs sur talon (French for scraper on the platform), is a certain type of flint tool made by prehistoric peoples.

It is a type of side scraper distinctive of Mousterian assemblages. It is created from a flint flake and looks like a large scraper. As well as being used for scraping hides and bark, it may also have been used as a knife. Racloirs are most associated with the Neanderthal Mousterian industry. These racloirs are retouched along the ridge between the striking platform and the dorsal face. They have shaped edges and are modified by abrupt flaking from the dorsal face.

Roman cuisine

Roman cuisine comes from the Italian city of Rome. It features fresh, seasonal and simply-prepared ingredients from Roman Campagna. These include peas, globe artichokes and fava beans, shellfish, milk-fed lamb and goat, and cheeses such as Pecorino Romano and ricotta. Olive oil is used mostly to dress raw vegetables, while strutto (pork lard) and fat from prosciutto are preferred for frying. The most popular sweets in Rome are small individual pastries called pasticcini, gelato (ice cream) and handmade chocolates and candies. Special dishes are often reserved for different days of the week; for example, gnocchi is eaten on Thursdays, baccalà (salted cod) on Fridays, and trippa on Saturdays.

Tool stone

In archaeology, a tool stone is a type of stone that is used to manufacture stone tools,

or stones used as the raw material for tools.Generally speaking, tools that require a sharp edge are made using cryptocrystalline materials that fracture in an easily controlled conchoidal manner.

Cryptocrystalline tool stones include flint and chert, which are fine-grained sedimentary materials; rhyolite and felsite, which are igneous flowstones; and obsidian, a form of natural glass created by igneous processes. These materials fracture in a predictable fashion, and are easily resharpened. For more information on this subject, see lithic reduction.

Large-grained materials, such as basalt, granite, and sandstone, may also be used as tool stones, but for a very different purpose: they are ideal for ground stone artifacts. Whereas cryptocrystalline materials are most useful for killing and processing animals, large-grained materials are usually used for processing plant matter. Their rough faces often make excellent surfaces for grinding plant seeds. With much effort, some large-grained stones may be ground down into awls, adzes, and axes.


In archeology, a uniface is a specific type of stone tool that has been flaked on one surface only. There are two general classes of uniface tools: modified flakes—and formalized tools, which display deliberate, systematic modification of the marginal edges, evidently formed for a specific purpose.

Yubetsu technique

The Yubetsu technique (湧別技法, Yūbetsu gihō) is a special technique to make microblades, proposed by Japanese scholar Yoshizaki in 1961, based on his finds in some Upper Palaeolithic sites in Hokkaido, Japan, which date from c. 13,000 bp.

The name comes from the Yūbetsu River (湧別川, Yubetsugawa), on the right bank of which the Shirataki (白滝遺跡, Shirataki Iseki) Palaeolithic sites were discovered.

To make microblades by this technique, a large biface is made into a core which looks like a tall carinated scraper. Then one lateral edge of the bifacial core is removed, producing at first a triangular spall. After, more edge removals will produce ski spalls of parallel surfaces.

This technique was also used from Mongolia to Kamchatka Peninsula during the later Pleistocene.

Timeline of cultivation
Date Crops Location
8000 BCE[5] Squash Oaxaca, Mexico
8000-5000 BCE[6] Potato Peruvian Andes
6000-4000 BCE[7] Peppers Oaxaca, Mexico
5700 BCE[5][8] Maize Guerrero, Mexico
5500 BCE[9] Peanut South America
5000 BCE[10] Avocado Mexico
4000 BCE Common bean Central America
3400 BCE[11] Cotton Tehuacan Valley, Mexico
2000 BCE Sunflowers
Other beans
1500 BCE[12] Cocoa Mexico
1500 BCE[13] Sweet potato Altiplano Cundiboyacense, Colombia
500 BCE[14] Tomato Mexico

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