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Peruvian Desert Once a Breadbasket
Discovery News ^ | Tuesday, August 16, 2011 | Tim Wall

Posted on 08/16/2011 7:25:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

Throughout human history unsustainable agricultural practices have turned fragile ecosystems into wastelands and left people starving. During the Dust Bowl, American farmers learned the consequences of removing the deep rooted grasses from the Great Plains when the soil blew away in tremendous dust storms. Icelandic shepherds learned that the sheep rearing practices their ancestors used on the European mainland destroyed the thin soils of their island and left them with starving herds and little to eat.

The ancient inhabitants of what is now Peru also learned the unhappy consequences of farming in a delicate ecosystem. The Ica Valley, near the coast of southern Peru and the famous Nazca lines, is now a barren desert, but was once a fertile floodplain, anchored by the roots of the huarango tree.

People were able to raise a variety of crops there for several centuries. But intensive agriculture in pre-conquest times led to ecosystem collapse. The history of the land was recently reconstructed by bioarcheologist David Beresford-Jones of the University of Cambridge by looking at plant remains left in ancient garbage heaps.

Beresford-Jones and a team of archeologists studied plant remains associated with settlement sites spanning roughly 750 B.C. to 1000 A.D. They observed the change as the valley inhabitants went from eating mostly gathered foods, to a period of intense agriculture, then back again to surviving on what they could eke out of nature's diminished bounty.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.discovery.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: andes; godsgravesglyphs; peru
Peruvian Desert Once a Breadbasket

1 posted on 08/16/2011 7:25:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks Renfield.

Climate change agenda warning.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


2 posted on 08/16/2011 7:30:03 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
Throughout human history unsustainable agricultural practices have turned fragile ecosystems into wastelands and left people starving

how can this be true ? I was guran-damn-teed it was SUVs.
3 posted on 08/16/2011 7:32:14 PM PDT by stylin19a (obama..."Fredo-Smart")
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To: SunkenCiv
How is this possible? The sacred, all-knowing Incas lived in harmony and peace with Nature in Paradise.
4 posted on 08/16/2011 7:37:32 PM PDT by stripes1776
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To: stylin19a

Too bad they didn’t have Al Gore around to “consult” them on their environmental issues.


5 posted on 08/16/2011 7:37:48 PM PDT by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: SunkenCiv

Of course this had nothing at all to do with natural climate variability, like when the “wet band” shifted North and South of the equator, making the lands closest to the equator dry (Sahara Desert and The Land of Milk And Honey are pretty parched now when they once were fertile). This MUST be caused by the hand of Man.


6 posted on 08/16/2011 7:47:06 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: stylin19a; SunkenCiv
It was caused by SUVs: Selfish Urbanized Vegetarians.
7 posted on 08/16/2011 7:58:02 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch ("Public service" does NOT mean servicing the people, like a bull among heifers.)
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To: SunkenCiv
Providence at work:

Pisco is a natural product originating from distilled fermented grape juice from selected grapes grown in the rich wine region of the Ica Valley - around the Pisco and Ica rivers - located three hundred kilometers south of Lima, the capital city of Peru. The favorable conditions of the soil and the semi-arid climate make of the Ica Valley the perfect setting for the growth of a unique variety of grapes.

Aficianados of Pisco will understand that a so-called "man-made natural disaster" may be God's way of permitting Evil in the attainment of a greater Good!

8 posted on 08/16/2011 8:09:00 PM PDT by Ozone34 ("There are only two philosophies: Thomism and bullshitism!" -Leon Bloy)
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To: SunkenCiv
...huarango...

I thought that a Korean martial art.

9 posted on 08/16/2011 8:20:42 PM PDT by decimon
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To: stripes1776

This was pretty much a thousand years before there were any Incas.


10 posted on 08/16/2011 8:23:22 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: DBrow

The coast of northern Chile and southern Peru has been extreme desert as long as people have lived there, in fact the most extreme desert on earth. Agriculture has never been possible except with irrigation.

The article is pretty incoherent, but it appears the natural ecosystem of trees that held the water and soil from regular flooding got buggered up. Presumably the soil washed away.


11 posted on 08/16/2011 8:27:15 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
This was pretty much a thousand years before there were any Incas.

OK, then substitute sacred, all-knowing indigenous peoples living in peace and harmony with Nature in Paradise before the sacred, all-knowing Incas living in peace and harmony with Nature in Paradise.

12 posted on 08/16/2011 8:43:02 PM PDT by stripes1776
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To: SunkenCiv
"750 B.C. to 1000 A.D."

Say, that's the same rough time frame for the collapse of the Anasazi and the classic Mayan civilizations too. Were they all bad farmers then? /s

13 posted on 08/16/2011 8:55:51 PM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: SunkenCiv
There's got to be something missing in that story?

The Ica Desert of Peru was once the thriving seafloor of an ancient ocean. Today, it’s one of the driest places on the planet and among the best fossil-hunting grounds ever found. Gregory Dicum, a travel writer from San Francisco, hiked for two days with a local guide to discover preserved giant shark teeth, fields littered with fossils, and seashells from creatures long extinct. At one place, standing in a remote desert gully, Dicum and his guide walked up on a pod of fossilized whales—skulls, fins, ribs, vertebrae, baleen, and skin preserved through the eons under shifting Peruvian sands.

3m-long fossilised skull of the creature was discovered by researchers in southern Peru in 2008


14 posted on 08/16/2011 9:35:48 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
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To: SunkenCiv

I found some other stories about this place and history.

Scientists write that the place was really agriculturally rich between 100BC and 400AD (especially after 100AD), but an El Nino event trashed the place with a massive flood at or before 500AD, ruining irrigation systems and forests.

They write that human deforestation made the place much more vulnerable to flood damage (but obviously didn’t cause the flood).


15 posted on 08/16/2011 10:29:54 PM PDT by Mount Athos (A Giant luxury mega-mansion for Gore, a Government Green EcoShack made of poo for you)
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To: Mount Athos; SunkenCiv

To: SunkenCiv

I found some other stories about this place and history.

Scientists write that the place was really agriculturally rich between 100BC and 400AD (especially after 100AD), but an El Nino event trashed the place with a massive flood at or before 500AD, ruining irrigation systems and forests.
..........
On this there was one haltingly sad story that showed up five to ten years ago in National Geographic or Archaeological Digest. Archaeologists found the bodies of hundreds of high caste people on the top of a pyramid in Peru that dated to about 500 AD. They all had their heads bashed in and their throats cut. The events date to a large el nino and the manner of their deaths suggests they were sacrificed.

One can see the locals endlessly bashing in the heads of their nobles in a desperate attempt to stop the rains.


16 posted on 08/16/2011 11:07:08 PM PDT by ckilmer (Phi)
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To: DBrow; SunkenCiv; All

I hear that the use of goats has been very hard on the lands of the middle east and north africa. Experiments have been done fencing off areas of scrub land so they cannot be grazed and they have become renewed with vegetation.


17 posted on 08/16/2011 11:59:49 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: ckilmer; Mount Athos; SunkenCiv
Some things never change:

One can see the locals Liberals endlessly bashing in the heads of their nobles people in a desperate attempt to stop the rains climate change.

18 posted on 08/17/2011 12:04:40 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: SunkenCiv

Did American farmers cause the Dust Bowl?


19 posted on 08/17/2011 12:05:37 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD

That was Mother Nature.


20 posted on 08/17/2011 2:45:06 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: gleeaikin

Stop right there — don’t you know that they’re practicing sustainable agriculture?


21 posted on 08/17/2011 2:45:37 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: stripes1776

Pretty much.

I have never seen any actual evidence of any people anywhere on earth refusing to take actions that would make their own lives better because it might damage “the environment.”

With exception of recent environmentalist movements, and in those cases almost without exception someone else will pay the price or at least the enviros think someone else will.


22 posted on 08/17/2011 5:52:11 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Fred Nerks

Thanks Fred Nerks!


23 posted on 08/17/2011 3:16:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: decimon

I thought it was an Abba song, but it was just something in the air.


24 posted on 08/17/2011 3:18:08 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Ozone34

;’)


25 posted on 08/17/2011 3:19:16 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Sherman Logan

Thanks Sherman Logan for both of those.


26 posted on 08/17/2011 3:21:39 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ckilmer

“Archaeologists found the bodies of hundreds of high caste people on the top of a pyramid in Peru that dated to about 500 AD. They all had their heads bashed in and their throats cut. The events date to a large el nino and the manner of their deaths suggests they were sacrificed.”

OK, now we have an answer for “What should we do about Congress?”


27 posted on 08/17/2011 3:23:12 PM PDT by Mr Rogers ("they found themselves made strangers in their own country")
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To: ckilmer; 1010RD

It’s been one of the problems of societies throughout the word that someone who is not responsible for what happens takes one in the ass, or in some cases, the cranium. Apparently people stopped buying their partiicular line of BS.


28 posted on 08/17/2011 3:23:34 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Mount Athos

/bingo


29 posted on 08/17/2011 3:23:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Flag_This

Good catch.


30 posted on 08/17/2011 3:23:43 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: stylin19a; stripes1776; unixfox; DBrow; ApplegateRanch

:’)


31 posted on 08/17/2011 3:23:53 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

It’s not just Peru, the Mayans in Copan, Honduras, and elsewhere throughout Central America, eventually died out due to poor agricultural practices and over population.


32 posted on 08/17/2011 3:24:21 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (You can't forfeit the game Chuck! If you go home you forfeit!)
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To: SunkenCiv

blam posted that info back in 2005. you also comment (but your comment at the time is a bit different. as well you include blam’s post on your list.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1355266/posts


33 posted on 08/17/2011 3:48:33 PM PDT by ckilmer (Phi)
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To: stripes1776
First, this was not the Incas.

Second, the Incas did a LOT of tampering with nature and were quite proud of the fact.

34 posted on 08/17/2011 3:51:46 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Can we ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Easily. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Yup. Many of these nobles/priests gained their power by controlling the weather through propitiating the gods.

If the weather gets bad enough they get blamed for it. It appears something fairly similar to a revolt of the proles happened at Cahokia in central US.

Also quite possibly at Chaco Canyon and in the Maya country.


35 posted on 08/17/2011 4:10:31 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: SunkenCiv

New Orleans, LA, Matagorda and Sergents Beach, TX learned the hard way about the dangers of hurricanes when marsh, grass lands were destroyed with development. Both Matagorda and Sergents are restoring the marsh and grass lands...and I’ve read NO’s is doing the same.


36 posted on 08/17/2011 4:19:31 PM PDT by shield (Rev 2:9 Woe unto those who say they are Judahites and are not, but are of the syna GOG ue of Satan.)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
First, this was not the Incas.

Thank you for the correction. I was making fun of the liberal idea that all past indigenous peoples were all-knowing and living in harmony and peace with Nature.

Second, the Incas did a LOT of tampering with nature and were quite proud of the fact.

Yes, but don't tell that to a Liberal. They will call you a hate monger if you speak the truth.

37 posted on 08/17/2011 4:56:45 PM PDT by stripes1776
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To: SunkenCiv
The Ica Valley, near the coast of southern Peru and the famous Nazca lines, is now a barren desert, but was once a fertile floodplain, anchored by the roots of the huarango tree.

The Nile valley is a fertile floodplain even today.

That doesn't mean it gets much rain.

Farming the Ica Valley was possible because of the huarango tree woodland, which literally held the floodplain together. The roots of the tree physically anchored the soils and protected the ground from erosion. The trees also maintained fertility by fixing nitrogen from the air and keeping moisture in the soil.

But as more land was cleared for crop production, so much of the woodland was cleared that the huarango's benefits were lost. The land was then exposed to floods from El Niño events and strong winds parched the land when it wasn't flooded.

This was a river valley in a dry area that got its moisture from melting snow in the distant mountains. It was at risk for desertification for a long, long time.

38 posted on 08/17/2011 5:29:28 PM PDT by x
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To: ckilmer

The worst part is, I’m sensitive to all this talk about breadbaskets. ;’) Thanks ckilmer.


39 posted on 08/17/2011 7:18:52 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: stripes1776
The "Nobel Savage" crap came from the father of Liberalism so that is no surprise. Just as it is no surprise that he had no idea what he was talking about.

The Neolithic revolution Euro-Asia was animal based, with sheep, horses, cows and goats being domesticated. Later people began to plant crops.

In the Americas there was a dearth of usable animals to domesticate so the Neolithic revolution was plant based. Maize, potatoes, beans, cotton, coco, vanilla, squash, tomatoes and peppers were all farmed. While some can be found in a wild form there are a number that can not meaning that they were developed. You don't get that without a lot of tampering.

40 posted on 08/17/2011 8:36:03 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Can we ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Easily. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.)
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To: Hot Tabasco

Thanks Hot Tabasco.


41 posted on 08/17/2011 8:39:47 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

There can be no doubt that this was caused by a global warming caused by human use of carbon fuels.

Further, Bush was the principal villain in the whole thing.


42 posted on 08/17/2011 8:57:08 PM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
The Neolithic revolution [of] Euro-Asia was animal based...In the Americas there was a dearth of usable animals to domesticate so the Neolithic revolution was plant based.

Very interesting.

43 posted on 08/17/2011 11:34:15 PM PDT by stripes1776
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