A new study states that chocolate is believed to have originated much earlier than previously thought. In fact, according to experts, the cacao tree was first planted in what is modern-day Ecuador by people belonging to the Mayo Chinchipe culture. According to Professor Michael Blake of the University of British Columbia, Canada, people in this region have been using seeds of the cacao tree for more than 5,000 years, which is much earlier than what was found in Mesoamerica and Central America. According to reports, the researchers had made this surprising find in 2002, at Santa Ana-La Florida, a site in the highlands of Ecuador. At the site, the researchers found traces of cacao in fancy containers. The team also discovered ceramics with drawings of cacao pods on them.