Title

Morphological variation of maize cupules and access to high quality maize in the Prehispanic Malpaso Valley, Zacatecas, Mexico

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2006

Abstract

Quantitative analyses of maize cupule measurements from the Malpaso Valley, Zacatecas, Mexico, suggest that high-status households had preferred access to distinct maize varieties or maize with morphological traits that might be interpreted as high quality. Through a combination of cluster analysis, Principal Components Analysis, and chi-square tests, this study demonstrates the utility of examining the differential distribution of morphological traits, even when the remains occur primarily in the form of detached cupules. This study does not address the role of genetics and environment in the morphological variation of maize cobs, but it does show that an analysis of morphological variability in maize cobs can contribute to our understanding of social or economic differences both within and among archaeological settlements. © Society of Ethnobiology.

Publication Name

Journal of Ethnobiology

Volume Number

26

First Page

139

Last Page

164

Issue Number

1

DOI

10.2993/0278-0771(2006)26[139:MVOMCA]2.0.CO;2

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