Ancient finding suggests Peruvians could have been making tortillas 4,000 years ago.

Research highs: an archaeological dig in the Andes showed up signs of early flour.
Credit: Daniel H. Sandweiss, University of Maine
Archaeologists have found the oldest evidence so far of agriculture in the Andes. The discovery shows that ancient Peruvians were growing and eating maize some 4,000 years ago - more than a millennium earlier than previous records had suggested.

Maize was originally cultivated in Mexico, and archaeologists have evidence that the crop was grown as early as 7,000 years ago in Ecuador. But they had previously not known how quickly the practice spread south into the Andes.

The development of agriculture in this area marks a cornerstone in the development of civilization in the Andes: a process that ultimately led to the rise of the Incas, who dominated the region from about 1100 AD until the arrival of European settlers.