The latter could have happened as certain plant seeds were eaten and not fully digested, causing these plants to grow wherever human habitation would take them.
As the Archaic period progressed, cultivation of plant foods became increasingly important to the people of Mesoamerica.
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At the beginning of the Archaic period, the Early Hunters of the late Pleistocene era (50,000–10,000 BC) led nomadic lifestyles, relying on hunting and gathering for sustenance.
The game had a ritualistic significance and was often accompanied with human sacrifice.
The domestication of cotton allowed for textiles of vibrant colors to be created.
The cultivation of plants could have been started purposefully, or by accident.
Another important crop in Mesoamerican agriculture is squash. Smith discovered evidence of domesticated squash (Cucurbita pepo), in Guilá Naquitz cave in Oaxaca.The two main ways to combat poor soil quality, or lack of nutrients in the soil, are to leave fields fallow for a period of time in a milpa cycle, and to use slash-and-burn techniques.In slash and burn agriculture, trees are cut down and left to dry for a period of time.The bottle gourd provided storage space for collecting seeds for grinding or planting as well as a means of carrying water.Squashes provided an excellent source of protein to the ancient Mesoamericans, as well as to people today.