Nearly 3,000 years ago, the Mayans invented a culinary process that allowed them to increase the nutritional properties of corn tenfold. This millennial tradition is analysed… thanks to latrines in Guatemala.
Knowledge of the cultural practices of the civilizations that preceded us passes through the analysis of everyday objects, writings, artistic representations… and through the analysis, less known, not very appealing but! Archaeologists have indeed recently published about Mayan latrines. These were discovered at the site of San Bartolo in Guatemala and They are the oldest proof of the existence of Mayan toilets in the world.
Lime water for cooking and flushing
Archaeologists first discovered œeggs of indicating that the infected population must have suffered from and states of weakness. They also discovered that the “flush” of the latrines was flushed with water from . What is even more intriguing is that this solution was already in use at the time for the nixtamalization process, residues of which were found in the latrines. This process, which consisted of soaking and cooking grains of in a solution at a basic pH probably served to weaken the hull of the seeds.
This transformation of the physical properties is still practiced today to eat the grains ofin a soup or to grind them into a paste, used for tortillas and tamales. This practice also increased access to and at the from corn and the dating of this millenary process from Central America makes it possible to understand one of the oldest culinary traditions of the pre-Hispanic civilizations of this continent.