Cotton bolls discovered in a cave near Tehuacán,Mexico, have at first been dated to as early as 5500 BC, but this date has been challenged. More securely dated is the domestication of Gossypium hirsutum in Mexico between around 3400 and 2300 BC.
In Peru, cultivation of the indigenous cotton species Gossypium barbadense has been dated, from a find in Ancon, to c 4200 BC, and was the backbone of the development of coastal cultures such as the Norte Chico, Moche, and Nazca. Cotton was grown upriver, made into nets, and traded with fishing villages along the coast for large supplies of fish. The Spanish who came to Mexico and Peru in the early 16th century found the people growing cotton and wearing clothing made of it.