High-altitude archaeology uncovers earliest evidence of potato consumption

A group of communeros, or villagers, from Jachacachi, Peru, help excavate the site where evidence of potato domestication was found. Every French fry, gnocchi, tater tot and order of hash browns humans have eaten in the past 5,000 years can be traced back to one place in the world — northwestern Bolivia and southern Peru. A paper by UC Merced Professor Mark Aldenderfer and Assistant Project Scientist Claudia Rumold — recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of ScienceOpens a New Window. and featured in the New York TimesOpens a New Window. — shows the researchers found the earliest direct evidence for potato consumption in that region between 3,400 and 2,200 years B.C. They studied evidence from a site called Jiskairumoko, in the Western Titicaca Basin in the Andes mountains of Peru. More