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To: Palter
Stooping over a man-made Indian mound on a recent day, he picked up shards of ceramics and dark, nutrient-rich earth made fertile hundreds of years ago by human hands.

Uh, how can he tell it was made fertile hundreds of years ago? Do the years since then have nothing to do with its fertility?

4 posted on 09/06/2010 8:46:33 AM PDT by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
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To: raybbr
Most of the soil in the Amazon is not very fertile. there is only thin topsoil which recycles rapidly with dying and decomposing organic matter.
7 posted on 09/06/2010 8:53:24 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: raybbr

He could be referring to the massive use of fires to change the landscape and irrigation and canal systems established by some of the Indians for agricultural improvement.


8 posted on 09/06/2010 8:54:06 AM PDT by Palter (If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it. ~ Mark Twain)
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To: raybbr

Interestingly, the many recent attempts to recreate terra preta have not been successful. Most soils are made fertile with the addition of human waste (cf China). However, terra preta contains many other ingredients which, unlike other man made or naturally occurring soils, does not lose its fertility with years of use, nor does its depth deplete.

If someone finds a way to duplicate terra preta, they will pretty much become instant billionaires, as any soil anywhere could be made to grow anything indefinitely.


16 posted on 09/06/2010 9:17:35 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine .. now it is your turn..)
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