Climate change helped the Incas build civilisation
Their warfare, building and agricultural skills may have been impressive but, according to scientists in Peru, the Incas would have been nothing without good weather induced by climate change.
New research has revealed that a prolonged period of warm weather between AD1100 and 1533 cleared large areas of mountain land to be used for farming, helping the Incas to spread their influence from Colombia to the central plains of Chile.
With the tree line moving steadily higher up the mountains, the Incas carved terraces into the mountainside to grow potatoes and maize, and developed a system of canals to irrigate the land.
Machu Picchu: Scientists believe climate change was critical in allowing the Incas to build their civilisation Photo: Getty
The climate remained dry but melting glacial ice provided a constant supply of water, resulting in a surplus of crops to feed the population.
The men freed up from agricultural duties were then able to focus on other activities, among them constructing roads and buildings such as the Incas' 3,250-mile Royal Road through the highlands, the 2,520-mile Coastal Road and Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas.
Dr Alex Chepstow Lusty, a British palaeoecologist working for the French Institute for Andean Studies in Lima, Peru, said the clement weather also freed up men to fight in the Inca's ambition and expansionist Army.
"Yes, they were highly organised, and they had a sophisticated hierarchical system, but it wouldn't have counted a jot without being underpinned by the warming of the climate," he told The Times.
"It was the perfect incubator for the expansion of a civilisation."
Dr Chepstow Lusty and his team made their discovery by analysing sediment on the floor of a small lake called Marcacocha, 11,000 feet above sea level in the Peruvian Andes near Cuzco, the cradle of the Incan civilisation.
The layers of sediment at different heights represent different periods of time, like rings in the trunk of a tree. The scientists found suggestions of trees and crops at the critical time, suggesting the tree cover had moved upwards.
Dr Chepstow Lusty believes modern civilisations have much to learn from the pre-Columbians when it comes to the environment.
He wants to see controlled deforestation and the increased growing of crops on terraces using glacier melt as irrigation.
"Such methods increase crop yields. In fact, they are beginning to be reintroduced by the local populations,” he told the French scientific publication CNRS.
Article from: Telegraph.co.uk
Check this out: Machu Picchu 'Face'
Global warming means continental crops could take root in Britain by 2030
Polar Bears are not dying out, say scientists in book on popular 'scare stories'
Climate Change: Fear and Obey (Video)
Rockefeller Fndn - Climate Change Will Collapse Civilization
The Climate Bill & ‘Carbon Trading’: Scam of The Century
Climate 'denial' is now a mental disorder
Ancient Inca Sun Pillars Still Mark June Solstice
Mummified Inca maiden wows crowds
Peru finds human sacrifices from Inca civilization
Maasais, Canaanites And the Inca Connection
Discovery could bring Peru's 'cloud warriors' to earth
Ancient City belonging to the white-skinned 'Cloud People' Chachapoyas discovered in Peru
600 Year Old Amazon Mummies of the Chachapoyas Caught In Terror
Ancient Solar Observatory Discovered in Peru
Pre-Incan female Wari mummy unearthed in Peru
The mother of all civilisations?
Latest News from our Front Page
Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North.
The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night.
A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked.
The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough.
Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield.
Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants
Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July.
The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown.
The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.
He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are.
London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race.
Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event.
|More News » |