Quem nasceu primeiro, o cinema ou a pipoca?

Direito de imagem BBC World Service

A new study suggests that people living along the coast of northern Peru were eating popcorn 1,000 years earlier than previously thought. Researchers say corncobs found at an ancient site in Peru suggest that the inhabitants used them for making flour and popcorn.

Reportagem: Vanessa Buschschluter

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Maize was first domesticated in Mexico nearly nine-thousand years ago from a wild grass.

It was assumed it took a good few thousand of years to reach South America, where it is an important part of today's diet.

But corn cobs found at ancient archaeological sites in northern Peru indicate it was being eaten by people living there as long as 6,700 years ago.

And, tests carried out on the ancient cobs suggest it was being used in more varied ways than previously believed: namely for making flour and popcorn!

This would mean that in some areas people were making popcorn even before they had pottery. How exactly they went about making it, especially if they lacked pottery, is not clear.

Even less clear is just when they would have eaten it, in an age before movies.

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domesticated (domesticado, transformado em algo adequado ao consumo humano) changed into something suitable for human consumption

assumed (considerado verdade) believed to be true

diet (dieta, a uebrou facilmente) the food and drink we eat regularly

corn cobs (espiga de milho, a parte dura e alongada da planta, onde se desenvolvem os grãos amarelos) the long hard parts of the maize plant that the yellow grains grow on

archaeological sites(sítios arqueológicos, locais onde foram encontrados enterrados restos históricos de construções e objetos) places where historical remains of buildings and objects have been found in the ground

indicate (indicam, mostram que é provável) show it is likely

pottery (cerâmica, potes e pratos feitos de barro cozido em um forno) pots and dishes made with clay that have been baked in the oven

lacked (a falta de algo em quantidade suficiente) had not enough of

an age (uma era, um período particular da história) a particular period of history