Palanda Archeological Site in Ecuador

Entrance sign for archeological site in Ecuador

The origins of cacao begin in the southeastern region of Ecuador! Palanda, to be exact, where archeological evidence found in these spirals prove that the Mayo-Chinchipe-Marañón had cultivated cacao more than 5,000 years ago, before the Mayans or Olmecs!

Though not much is known about this particular civilization, this arqueological site is completely accredited to them, having lived some time in between 3000 to 2000 BC. This region of Ecuador is still being studied by archaeologists, so the chances of more information coming out is highly likely!

Archeological ruins in Ecuador showing spheres and spirals where traces of cacao were found.

Unlike the general belief that cacao originated in Mexico and was initially cultivated by Mayans and Aztecs, this region proves otherwise and not only about the cultivation of cacao but also how they built a prosperous society that relied on the crop itself as the main source of trade. In some cases, cacao was actually used as currency as well!

If you would like to read more about this interesting archaeological site, then visit the Not Your Average American webpage to find out more about it!