Gourds have played an important role in human history in both the Old World and New. The origin, domestication, and spread of this and other plants was a topic of much conversation when I was in graduate school. It seems now that its antiquity and introduction to the Americas is becoming much clearer. This humble but amazing plant is securing its place in early American prehistory.
Ancient Humans Brought Bottle Gourds To The Americas From Asia
Thick-skinned bottle gourds widely used as containers by prehistoric peoples were likely brought to the Americas some 10,000 years ago by individuals who arrived from Asia, according to a new genetic comparison of modern bottle gourds with gourds found at archaeological sites in the Western Hemisphere. The finding solves a longstanding archaeological enigma by explaining how a domesticated variant of a species native to Africa ended up millennia ago in places as far removed as modern-day Florida, Kentucky, Mexico and Peru.
Read more about it here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051214081513.htm