This rockshelter site is located approximately 17 km inland from Parita Bay on the Pacific Coast of Central Panama. Archaeological investigations at the site from 1973-75 and again in 1997 yielded many stone tools preserving microbotanical evidence of plant use and domestication (Piperno et al. 2000). The earliest evidence of maize use at the site comes from several milling stones (edge ground cobbles) recovered from the lowest, and thus earliest, deposits in Zone C. Six stone tools in Zone C (4 from the bottom levels), and 3 stone tools from Zone B above (somewhat later) had between 1 and 25 starch grains (Piperno et al. 2000:894, Table 1).
Mapping co-ordinates approximate.

ID Other ID Type Subtype Uncal BP (years) ± 1 σ (years) Median cal BP (years) Lower cal BP (years) Upper cal BP (years) δ13C Contaminated?
UCR-3418 MicroSample phytolith 4250 60 4804 4967 4584 No
UCR-3417 MicroSample starch grain 6910 60 7746 7922 7622 No
UCR-3418 MicroSample starch grain 4250 60 4804 4967 4584 No
NZA-10929 MicroSample phytolith 6207 60 7102 7256 6960 No
UCR-3417 MicroSample phytolith 6910 60 7746 7922 7622 No
TEM-108 MicroSample phytolith 3630 95 3953 4235 3693 No
NZA-10929 MicroSample starch grain 6207 60 7102 7256 6960 No

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References Cited

Piperno, D. R.
    1984    A Comparison and Differentiation of Phytoliths from Maize and Wild Grasses: Use of Morphological Criteria. American Antiquity 49(2):361-383.

Piperno, D. R.
    2009    Identifying crop plants with phytoliths (and starch grains) in Central and South America: A review and an update of the evidence. Quaternary International 193(1/2):146-159.

Piperno, D. R. and D. M. Pearsall
    1998    Origins of Agriculture in the Lowland Neotropics. Academic Press, San Diego.

Piperno, D. R., K. H. Clary, R. G. Cooke, A. J. Ranere and D. Weiland
    1985    Preceramic Maize in Central Panama: Phytolith and Pollen Evidence. American Anthropologist, New Series 87(4):871-878.

Piperno, D. R., A. J. Ranere, I. Holst and P. Hansell
    2000    Starch Grains Reveal Early Root Crop Horticulture in the Panamanian Tropical Forest. Nature 407:894-897.

Ranere, A. J. and R. G. Cooke
    1996    Stone Tools and Cultural Boundaries in Prehistoric Panama: An Initial Assessment. In Paths to Central American Prehistory, edited by F. W. Lange, pp. 49–77. University Press of Colorado, Niwot.