The consumption of nicotine was more widespread than previously thought among ancient Chilean societies. Analyzing hair collected from mummies discovered in Chile's Atacama Desert, researchers were surprised to discover that people as early as 100 B.C. were smoking tobacco, and that it was not restricted to certain social or economic classes.
Using herbarium specimens, scientists have found that the sweet potato was introduced three times to South Asia and the Pacific. Polynesians therefore traveled centuries earlier to South America and brought back the sweet potato; this evidence fitting well with current archaeological and linguistic data.
Follow the latest discoveries from the world of archaeology, plants, and people.