Skip to comments.Andean Crops Cultivated Almost 10,000 Years Ago
Posted on 01/17/2008 3:55:35 PM PST by blam
Andean Crops Cultivated Almost 10,000 Years Ago
by Michael Abrams
Archaeologists have long thought that people in the Old World were planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting for a good 5,000 years before anyone in the New World did such things. But fresh evidence, in the form of Peruvian squash seeds, indicates that farming in the New and Old Worlds was nearly concurrent. In a paper the journal Science published last June, Tom Dillehay, an anthropological archaeologist at Vanderbilt University, revealed that the squash seeds he found in the ruins of what may have been ancient storage bins on the lower western slopes of the Andes in northern Peru are almost 10,000 years old. I dont want to play the early button game, he said, but the temporal gap between the Old and New World, in terms of a first pulse toward civilization, is beginning to close.
The seeds arent the only things that support the argument. Dillehay also found evidence of cotton and peanut farming and what seem to be garden hoes; nearby are irrigation canals. What puzzles him is why the ancients of the Nanchoc Valley would make the switch to farming from hunting and gathering when a walk of just an hour and a half would bring them to a forest filled with nutritious foods. Some clues point to contact with outsiders and the exchange of foods and other products. The squash is not native to the area, and tools made from exotic cherts and jaspers from the highlands can be found in the same ruins. But there are also other factors, including the need for more food, both to feed a growing population and to use for ceremonies and other gatherings. The general pattern, Dillehay says, is that theres a technological, socioeconomic cultural package that indicates something unique and interesting took place.
I think we've covered this before.
Discussion of this recently in “Archaeology” magazine, I think. I’m very fond of potatoes and quinoa.
Oh B.S. The world is only 6000 years old, how can anyone believe this story?
We likes taters, too, Precious. ;o) I've never tasted Quinoa. I'll have to get some!
Try your local health foods store. Quinoa is incredibly nutritious. You can use it like rice in salads or pilafs.
Thanks Blam. I think you're right about having covered it before, but hey, the researchers on the topic are obviously out standing in their field.
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warning: lots and lots of huge images - vast areas of agricultural fields and canals.
They must have been growing crops here for a very very long time, and feeding millions of people.
Really neat site.
Thanks. Excellent pictures...there are many, many suprises waiting in South America.
Yeah. It's funny how a species that walks slowly, and speaks thousands of different mutually incompressible languages can abruptly and simultaneously "discover" agriculture world wide...
The species must first discover one of these.
Ah yes. In the book there were scores of them world wide...
This also tends to invalidate Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel thesis.
This book is a bit too PC for me.
Squash grown 10,000 years ago in Peru
Yahoo | Thu Jun 28, 6:09 PM ET | by Randolph E. Schmid, AP Science Writer
Posted on 06/28/2007 9:39:04 PM EDT by Fred Nerks
Trying To Fathom Farming’s Origins
The Columbus Dispatch | 8-14-2007 | Bradley T Lepper
Posted on 08/15/2007 1:42:04 PM EDT by blam