October 21 2015 Presentation


"Cotton and Mesoamerica",

with IMS Webmaster Keith Merwin

When you hear about Mesoamerican agriculture you think of corn. But modern cotton is a Mesoamerican development. The oldest known cotton textiles come from a cave near Tehuacán, Mexico, and have been dated to around 5800 BC. Over 90% of the world’s cotton crop is made up of Gossypium hirsutum, which is native to Mexico and Central America. The rest of the crop is Gossypium barbadense, which is believed to come from Peru. Modern commercial cotton is white, but varieties developed in Ancient America include white, brown, green, red and shades of these colors. This presentation will discuss the history of cotton in the Americas and its relationship to modern cotton. Photographs and where possible, samples of cotton in several colors will be included. With IMS Webmaster Keith Merwin. Keith has done extensive research on cotton.



Map of Cotton Origin 

Map showing the where the different varieties of cotton originated.






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(Right) Cotton that is naturally green in color. One of at least four known colored cottons from Mesoamerica.


Usumacinta Panel



(Left) Carved panel with the King of Yaxchilan, a noble, and captives, Courtesy of Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. Note: cloth drape at top and cloth on captives arm at bottom.










This Meeting will be held at 

Miami Dade College Kendall Campus

11011 SW 104 Street

Miami, FL 33176-3393
Room 402 in *Building R*

IMS Maya Hotline: 305-279-8110



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Copyright 2012 October 21 2015 Presentation. The Institute of Maya Studies is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Your charitable contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
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