Link to enlarge vase K7784 &#copy; Justin Kerr Charles Zidar

Family:  Cucurbitaceae
Genus:  Cucurbita
Species:  pepo
Authority:  L.
Common Name:  summer squash
Maya Name:  Ruum, rum, kum
Depictions:  Squash bowl
Maya Plant Use:  Squash and gourds were an imporant part of the ancient Maya diet. Although they lack most of the polychrome detail that other ceramics display, they are accurate depictions of a wide array of genera and species of the plants that were an integral part of their daily lives. Because of the depictions in a wide variety of shapes, determinations can be made as to the foods they enjoyed. The pollen record can also be used to verify such assumptions. The plants depicted here may be that of Cucurbita pepo.
Botanical Significance:  Squash is well known in Maya archaeology and ethnography. Evidence of its use has been found in the pollen record and in the form of ancient ceramics. Pumpkin pulp can also be used to heal wounds while the seeds can be used for kidney ailments and intestinal worms (Dobelis, 1990). Squash was important crop to the ancient Maya, secondary only to cacao and maize. It was widely used as the form of vessels originating from Central and South America.
Notes:  C. lundelliana?
Photos:  Click on an image below for high resolution comparison.

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