The Brazil-Bolivia border

Who thinks of that region as having been important for the technological progression of mankind?  Yet it was, as Charles Mann explains:

Agricultural geneticists have long argued that the area around the railroad route — the Brazil-Bolivia border — was the development ground for peanuts, Brazilian broad beans…, and two species of chili pepper…  But in recent years evidence has accumulated that the area was also the domestication site for tobacco, chocolate, peach palm (Bactris gasipaes, a major Amazonian tree crop), and most important, the worldwide staple manioc (Manihot esculenta, also known as cassava or yuca).

That is from Mann’s forthcoming book 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, reviewed enthusiastically here.


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