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Sat Apr 18, 2020, 03:38 PM

Study: Amazonian Regions were Agricultural Landscapes Some 10,000 Years Ago


By Staff Reporter Apr 18, 2020 07:54 AM EDT

Far from being a rainforest and vast wilderness, certain Amazonian areas were cultivated by people for crop-growing. An international team of scientists has discovered that humans residing in remote regions of now present-day Bolivia were planting crops such as cassava, squash, and maize. Inhabitants also developed thousands of "forest islands" which are small mounds of lands, and where there is proof of plant cultivation.

One of the most relevant results of the end of the last ice age almost 12,000 years ago was a change in the lifestyles of early civilizations. Nomadic hunter-gatherers started to live permanently, and they cultivated plants for food. The Holocene epoch was a relatively warm period after the ice age that saw the increase in human activity.

Researchers have discovered evidence that early civilizations cultivated crops for food in four primary locations: China produced rice, grains were grown in the Middle East, maize in Central America and Mexico, and potatoes and quinoa in the Andes region. Scientists now claim that the Llanos de Moxos, the southwestern part of Amazonia, should be identified as the fifth.

This area in Amazonia is a savannah but is dotted with around 4,700 forest islands where humans once lived. These are raised areas of land that are now covered with trees, and approximately 70 meters in diameter. These areas are flooded during the year's rainy season, but these small mounds of land remain above the waters.

More:
https://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/43679/20200418/amazon-region-agricultural-landscapes.htm

There are so many images of the Amazonia area mentioned above, each connected to its own website. You may want to spend some time scanning the photos. They are so unexpected:

https://tinyurl.com/y93averv

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Reply Study: Amazonian Regions were Agricultural Landscapes Some 10,000 Years Ago (Original post)
Judi Lynn Apr 18 OP
The Magistrate Apr 18 #1
Judi Lynn Apr 18 #2
RussellCattle Apr 18 #3
Judi Lynn Apr 18 #4
RussellCattle Apr 21 #5

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Apr 18, 2020, 04:25 PM

1. Fascinating, Ma'am

What is learned when archeological discipline is applied to neglected areas can often overturn views long taken for granted.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 18, 2020, 04:37 PM

2. Absolutely, so much has been taken for granted, from the first. Each day so much can be reversed! nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Apr 18, 2020, 05:21 PM

3. Read the book "1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus". A chapter explains....

....how native Americans not only farmed, but "terra-formed" by manipulating soil content, including microbes, to create fertile soil that was self-generating. It is called "terra prieta" and they would seed new areas with it and come back years later to farm. This was much later than the farming your article talks about, around 3000 years ago at first. But I never cease to be amazed how people we have called "primitive" were really so advanced. The book also explores the ongoing debate about how many indigenous people were here before "discover". Was it two million (from the "low counters" ) or one hundred million ("high counters" )?

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Response to RussellCattle (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 18, 2020, 07:48 PM

4. Have heard of the book you've mentioned many times. Had no idea it would cover this, too!

Last edited Sun Apr 19, 2020, 03:06 AM - Edit history (1)

Sounds like an essential book for anyone who's really interested in the Americas before the real primitives arrived!

"Terra preta" is a term I'd like to study, no doubt about it.

Thank you, RussellCattle"! Great screen name.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 21, 2020, 04:14 PM

5. You're welcome. I first read excerpts from the book in "The Atlantic" years ago and....

...tracked the book down later, as well as it's companion volume "1493: Uncovering the New World", both by Charles Mann. The first book, "1491", I believe also goes into the area you describe with islands scattered around a flood plain. If memory serves me, the speculation was that the islands are man-made and served as end points to fish weirs built to catch fish during the annual flooding.
Thanks for the comment on my name. My old college roommate thought of it and said he liked the visual image it conjured.

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