The peanut has its origins in the Andes of South America. Researchers found peanuts there dating from around 7,800 years ago. The plant probably originated in Peru or Brazil. Peanut-shaped pots, as well as jugs decorated with peanuts, were found that were around 3,500 years old.
As early as 1500 BC, the Incas in Peru used peanuts as offerings, burying them with their mummies to support their loved ones in the afterlife. European explorers first discovered the peanut in Brazil. When the Spanish began their explorations of the New World, peanuts were grown as far north as Mexico. The explorers took some to Spain with them. From there, peanuts spread to Asia and Africa. Africans were the first to introduce and import peanuts to North America around 1700.