Predating the

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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.This led the authors conclude that "early cocoa was consumed as a fermented beverage made from pulp", rather than seeds.During the time of the Aztec empire, chocolate seeds were used as an early form of money.There are few documented sites where there is unequivocal evidence for depositional events predating the Main Late Devensian Glaciation and most occur in North-east Scotland (Gordon and Sutherland, 1993) (P915447).

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.Since the start of the Quaternary some 2.6 million years ago the Grampian Highlands have been glaciated many times.At first, glaciers were restricted to the mountains, but during the last 750 000 years there has been a rhythmic growth and decay of large ice sheets in the middle latitudes of Europe and these covered much of the Scottish mainland (Boulton et al., 1991).Pockets of deeply weathered igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks have survived glaciation in several parts of the region, notably in the north-east (P915447).East of a line from Elgin to Dundee, the bedrock has been patchily but extensively decomposed to a gruss (granular sand), locally to depths of several tens of metres.

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