According to an international research team, homemade turkeys originated in ancient Mexico, and the Aztecs and Mayans were able to keep the animals for cultural purposes, not only for eating purposes, but also for displaying sacrifices at various ceremonies.
The University of Yorkshire, the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico, the Washington State University and the researchers at Simon Fraser University, studied 55 turkey remains from the 300 BC to 1500 BC. The finds came from the middle of today’s Mexico to the northern part of Costa Rica, where pre-Columbian peoples lived as Mayans and Aztecs.
Investigating the DNA of birds in ancient birds, researchers have found that European turkeys come from these Mexican ancestors.
The research group also measured the ratio of turkey bones to carbon tax, trying to determine the diet of poultry. It was found that turkeys were already consumed by humans, such as maize.
“Turkeys are rarely found in the garbage dumps of peoples of the region, we did not eat the turkeys we studied, some found in churches, in the tombs of human bodies, probably intended to be companions in the afterlife, which fits in the iconography of the age in which turkeys are painted as gods and symbolize in the calendar, “said Aurélie Manin, a researcher at Yorki University.
Archaeological evidence suggests that deer and rabbit meat were the most popular food in the pre-Columbian peoples, but turkeys were only considered as their symbolic, cultural role – the researcher added.
In this way, turkeys were one of the first domestic animals. Although people in this part of the world have been farming for about ten years now, besides the dog, the turkey was the first animal under control in the Central American region, “Camilla Speller, an author of the study, quoted Science- knowledgeable news portal.