Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Left; A cacao tree with fruit pods in various stages of ripening. Right; Ripe cacao ready to pick.	Source: Left, Public Domain, Right, Pantira/Adobe Stock

Scientists Map the Genetic Evolution of Cacao to Chocolate

Researchers have mapped the ancient dispersal of the cacao or cocoa plant from South America to Central America. Not only did they discover the plant was a central commodity in ancient trading, but...
Today, oysters are consumed as an aphrodisiac. Source: Ricky / Adobe Stock.

10 of the Weirdest Things Consumed as Aphrodisiacs

These days if someone needs a little help getting in the mood, they are likely to use wine, chocolate, oysters, or maybe even certain pharmaceuticals. But what about our ancestors? Well, across...
Guatemalan Mayan woman making chocolate with traditional grinding stone. Source: nobito_gt / Adobe Stock.

Creating Guatemala’s Food of the Gods – Chocolate (Video)

Guatemala , a land celebrated for its coffee and avocados, holds a lesser-known but equally delightful claim to fame: its chocolate . The region of Chocolá, characterized by frequent rains and...
A Maya lord forbids an individual from touching a container of chocolate. (Public Domain)

Six Sexy Semi-Divine Superfoods Of Ancient South America

One need not search too long ago into South American history to identify a range of consumable drinks that would challenge and defeat, hands down, any of their modern derivatives - which are mostly...
The remnants of the ancient Maya cacao groves in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Researcher Chris Balzotti climbs an ancient staircase discovered in a sinkhole near Coba, Mexico.		Source: Richard Terry / Brigham Young University

Chocolate Trail: Sacred Maya Cacao Groves Found In Mexico’s Yucatan

As divine gift, money and a source of power, cacao, the plant that feeds the present-day chocolate obsession, was even more precious to the ancient Maya of the northern Yucatan. While historians have...
Eating Like an Ancient: 5 Surprising Foods You Can Still Try Today

Eating Like an Ancient: 5 Surprising Foods You Can Still Try Today

They say we just need food to survive, but we all know we eat good food to really live! The ancients knew this as well, and that sentiment was echoed across time and cultures, creating vibrant,...
1983 Cadbury’s Gold Egg Treasure

Cadbury’s Chocolate Blasted For Sponsoring Archaeological Vandalism

In 1985, Cadbury chocolatiers encouraged the British public to trespass and dig on protected archaeological sites in an advertising campaign known as the ‘Creme Egg Scandal’ which caused a number of...
View of the Colonial home on Labourdonnais’ estate reflecting the opulent lifestyle of French sugar cane plantation owners of the 18th century.

Slaves and Sugar: ‘Black Gold’ and ‘White Gold’ of Mauritius’ Economy

In the 18th and 19th centuries, sugar was considered the ‘white gold’ in the commercial arenas of the world, but it was accrued by the scourge of ‘black gold’ – slave labor. The tiny green emerald...
Meeting on the Isle of Pheasants, June 1660; Maria Theresa is handed over to the French and her husband by proxy, Louis XIV.

Maria Theresa of Spain: Betrayal, Incest, and Black Baby Rumors

Maria Theresa of Spain was an infanta (meaning ‘princess’) of the Spanish Empire who lived during the 17 th century. She belonged to the Spanish branch of the House of Habsburg , and is best-known...
A Maya lord forbids an individual from touching a container of chocolate

The Ancient History of Chocolate, Gift of the Gods

In today’s society, chocolate is a popular treat, and comes in many forms, including blocks, paste and powder. Several centuries ago, however, chocolate was considered a luxury item, and came only in...
A Mayan lord sits before an individual with a container of frothed chocolate.

Failed Crops Caused Economic Crash for Mayan Chocolate Currency

An academic study has made a remarkable claim about the role of chocolate in ancient Mayan society. An archaeologist is arguing that chocolate was used as money by the ancient Maya. That is right,...
Remembering the Future: How Ancient Maya Agronomists Changed the Modern World

Remembering the Future: How Ancient Maya Agronomists Changed the Modern World

The Maya were the longest-lived civilization in history. Their history lasted for 3,500 years and traced parallel time lines with other ancient civilizations. They began their civilization in 2500 BC...