Earliest Mexican Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in the Maya region found at Preclassic El Mirador
Thornton, Erin Kennedy
Emery, Kitty F.
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The two species of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican turkeys (M. ocellata and M. gallopavo) have non-overlapping ranges. Only M. gallopavo is known to have been domesticated. It was previously assumed that the domesticated Mexican turkey (M. gallopavo) was first introduced to the Maya region during the Postclassic (AD 1000-1500). The recent identification of Mexican turkey in Late Preclassic (ca. BC 300--AD 100) deposits from the Maya archaeological site of El Mirador overturns this assumption. The turkey bones were identified through zooarchaeology, osteometrics, and ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis.