Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is a New World crop species. Remains of potato peels recovered from ancient fi re pits in southern Chile reveal that potato species have been consumed in that portion of the world for at least 13,000 years (Ugent et al. 1987). Although which potato species is represented in this instance has never been determined, researchers agree that this archeological evidence points to consumption of potato tubers at a time that predates modern agriculture (Ugent et al. 1987; Hawkes 1990). Fossilized potato tubers suggest that potato has been used as a food source in Peru for at least 10,000 years (Engel 1970). Importantly, microscopic analysis of starch grains recovered from these samples allowed the classifi cation of the tubers as S. tuberosum, the same species as the modern cultivated potato (Ugent et al. 1982). Whether the recovered tubers were collected in the wild or grown by early farmers is unclear. While irrigation agriculture was practiced in ancient times in coastal Peru (Pozorski and Pozorski 1979), some authors suggest, based on meager evidence of potato production along the coast, that potato was most likely produced or harvested in the Andean highlands and traded with coastal inhabitants (Sauer 1993). Evidence of potato trade includes the depiction of chuño, a freeze-dried potato product, on pottery produced by coastal Peruvian potters. Because chuño requires cold temperatures for production, it cannot be produced along the coasts. Presumably, chuño, produced in the Andean highlands, would have been available to coastal inhabitants only through trade (Sauer 1993).