Climate change helped the Incas build civilisation
2009 07 27
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
Slaves of Charleston - Beyond Wealth of Jewish South Carolina
2014 09 15
Founded in 1749 in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the Beth Elohim Synagogue is one of the very earliest synagogues in America. While other synagogues and congregations are also now a part of Charleston city life, Beth Elohim Synagogue is the oldest one in the area and serves as the repository for certain historical artifacts of Jewish life in the city. ...
Martian meteorite yields more evidence of the possibility of life on Mars
2014 09 15
A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists.
The finding of a ‘cell-like’ structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. Their findings are published in the latest edition ...
Swedish Surprise: Anti-Immigration Party Surges...
2014 09 15
Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt
Sunday’s election in Sweden was supposed to be a cakewalk for the Left. The Drudge Report ran a piece yesterday from the Guardian entitled: “Free-market era in Sweden swept away as feminists and greens plot new path.” The paper, a left-wing British outlet, published the piece the day before the election; it proved to be, well, ...
UK School to fingerprint students to ‘monitor their diets’
2014 09 15
STOURBRIDGE, England – A school is implementing a biometric system to better track what students are eating each day.
The Express & Star reports students at Redhill School in Stourbridge, England will be fingerprinted in an attempt to reduce lunch lines and “monitor pupils’ diets.”
The system requires pupils to press a finger against a machine which converts the print into ...
U.S. State Department Orders 160,000 Ebola Hazmat Suits
2014 09 15
The U.S. State Department has ordered 160,000 Hazmat suits for Ebola, prompting concerns that the federal government is anticipating the rapid spread of a virus that has already claimed an unprecedented number of lives.
In a press release posted by Market Watch, Lakeland Industries, a manufacturer of industrial protective clothing for first responders, announced that it had signaled its intention “to ...
|More News » |