The chemical compound, theobromine, which only occurs in the cacao plant, has been found on pottery vessels dating back to as early as 1000 BC.More info at BBC News.
Experts say the vessels were used to serve a fermented cacao drink that was made from the sweet pulp of the plant.
The vessels were unearthed at sites in Puerto Escondido, Honduras.
"The earliest use of cacao in Mesoamerica is likely to have been for a fermented drink," lead author Professor John Henderson wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
"Such drinks may contain up to 5% alcohol in volume," the Cornell University, US, academic added.
Ancient Americans had chocolate alcohol
Posted on Monday, Nov 19 2007 @ 07:27 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
New archaeological evidence indicates Central-American civilizations have been using cacao as early as 1000 BC: