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  • An origin of new world agriculture in coastal Ecuador (12,000 BP)

    02/14/2003 1:34:27 PM PST · by vannrox · 11 replies · 1,547+ views
    Eureka ^ | Public release date: 13-Feb-2003 | Dr. Dolores Piperno
    Contact: Dr. Dolores Pipernopipernod@tivoli.si.edu 011-507-212-8101Smithsonian Institution An origin of new world agriculture in coastal Ecuador New archaeological evidence points to an independent origin of agriculture in coastal Ecuador 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Suddenly, the remains of larger squash plants appear in the record. The Las Vegas site, described by Dolores Piperno of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and Karen Stothert, University of Texas at Austin in the February 14th issue of Science, may predate plant domestication sites in the Mesoamerican highlands. The fertile and amazingly diverse lowland tropics seem like a likely place for agriculture to develop. But...
  • Is the Amazon rainforest MAN-MADE? At least 8 MILLION humans may have lived and farmed the basin

    07/24/2015 10:16:10 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 30 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | 24 July 2015 | RICHARD GRAY
    It is often held aloft by environmental campaign groups as an example of one of the last remaining regions of unspoiled habitat left in the world. But instead of being a pristine rainforest untouched by human hands, the Amazon appears to have been profoundly shaped by mankind. An international team of researchers have published evidence that suggests the Amazon was once home to millions of people who lived and farmed in the area now covered by trees.
  • Is the Amazon rainforest MAN-MADE? At least 8 MILLION humans may have lived and farmed the [tr]

    07/24/2015 6:22:31 AM PDT · by C19fan · 35 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | July 24, 2015 | Richard Gray
    It is often held aloft by environmental campaign groups as an example of one of the last remaining regions of unspoiled habitat left in the world. But instead of being a pristine rainforest untouched by human hands, the Amazon appears to have been profoundly shaped by mankind. An international team of researchers have published evidence that suggests the Amazon was once home to millions of people who lived and farmed in the area now covered by trees.
  • Mysterious Earthen Rings Predate Amazon Rainforest

    07/10/2014 12:35:30 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 44 replies
    Live Science ^ | July 07, 2014 03:37pm ET | Stephanie Pappas
    Carson and his colleagues wanted to explore the question of whether early Amazonians had a major impact on the forest. They focused on the Amazon of northeastern Bolivia, where they had sediment cores from two lakes nearby major earthworks sites. These sediment cores hold ancient pollen grains and charcoal from long-ago fires, and can hint at the climate and ecosystem that existed when the sediment was laid down as far back as 6,000 years ago. An examination of the two cores — one from the large lake, Laguna Oricore, and one from the smaller lake, Laguna Granja — revealed a...
  • Searching for the Amazon's Hidden Civilizations

    01/13/2014 3:40:59 PM PST · by Renfield · 18 replies
    Science Magazine ^ | 1-7-2014 | Crystal McMichael
    Look around the Amazon rainforest today and it’s hard to imagine it filled with people. But in recent decades, archaeologists have started to find evidence that before Columbus’s arrival, the region was dotted with towns and perhaps even cities. The extent of human settlement in the Amazon remains hotly debated, partly because huge swaths of the 6-million-square-kilometer rainforest remain unstudied by archaeologists. Now, researchers have built a model predicting where signs of pre-Columbian agriculture are most likely to be found, a tool they hope will help guide future archaeological work in the region. In many ways, archaeology in the Amazon...
  • Hidden shell middens reveal ancient human presence in Bolivian Amazon

    09/02/2013 8:22:20 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | August 28, 2013 | Jyoti Madhusoodanan
    Previously unknown archeological sites in forest islands reveal human presence in the western Amazon as early as 10,000 years ago, according to research published August 28 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Umberto Lombardo from the University of Bern, Switzerland and colleagues from other institutions. The study focuses on a region in the Bolivian Amazon thought to be rarely occupied by pre-agricultural communities due to unfavorable environmental conditions. Hundreds of 'forest islands'- small forested mounds of earth- are found throughout the region, their origins attributed to termites, erosion or ancient human activity. In this study, the authors report...
  • Stone age etchings found in Amazon basin as river levels fall

    11/11/2010 4:47:55 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 43 replies
    Guardian (UK) ^ | Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Tom Phillips
    A series of ancient underwater etchings has been uncovered near the jungle city of Manaus, following a drought in the Brazilian Amazon. The previously submerged images -- engraved on rocks and possibly up to 7,000 years old -- were reportedly discovered by a fisherman after the Rio Negro, a tributary of the Amazon river, fell to its lowest level in more than 100 years last month... Though water levels are now rising again, partly covering the apparently stone age etchings, local researchers photographed them before they began to disappear under the river's dark waters. Archaeologists who have studied the photographs...
  • Tracking the Ancestry of Corn Back 9,000 Years

    05/25/2010 6:22:11 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 73 replies · 1,099+ views
    New York Times ^ | Monday, May 24, 2010 | Sean B. Carroll
    Many botanists did not see any connection between maize and other living plants. Some concluded that the crop plant arose through the domestication by early agriculturalists of a wild maize that was now extinct, or at least undiscovered. However, a few scientists working during the first part of the 20th century uncovered evidence that they believed linked maize to what, at first glance, would seem to be a very unlikely parent, a Mexican grass called teosinte... George W. Beadle, while a graduate student at Cornell University in the early 1930s, found that maize and teosinte had very similar chromosomes....
  • In Amazon, traces of an advanced civilization

    09/06/2010 8:42:43 AM PDT · by Palter · 37 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 05 Sep 2010 | Juan Forero
    To the untrained eye, all evidence here in the heart of the Amazon signals virgin forest, untouched by man for time immemorial - from the ubiquitous fruit palms to the cry of howler monkeys, from the air thick with mosquitoes to the unruly tangle of jungle vines. Archaeologists, many of them Americans, say the opposite is true: This patch of forest, and many others across the Amazon, was instead home to an advanced, even spectacular civilization that managed the forest and enriched infertile soil to feed thousands. The findings are discrediting a once-bedrock theory of archaeology that long held that...
  • Superdirt Made Lost Amazon Cities Possible

    11/30/2008 3:36:23 PM PST · by JoeProBono · 22 replies · 1,067+ views
    Centuries-old European explorers' tales of lost cities in the Amazon have long been dismissed by scholars, in part because the region is too infertile to feed a sprawling civilization. But new discoveries support the idea of an ancient Amazonian urban network—and ingeniously engineered soil may have made it all possible.
  • Paper challenges 1491 Amazonian population theories

    03/07/2007 9:48:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies · 337+ views
    Florida Institute of Technology (via EurekAlert) ^ | Tuesday, March 6, 2007 | Karen Rhine
    "These data are directly relevant to the resilience of Amazonian conservation, as they do not support the contention that all of Amazonia is a 'built landscape' and therefore a product of past human land use," Bush says. "Most archaeologists are buying into the argument that you had big populations that transformed the landscape en masse. Another group of archaeologists say that transformation was very much limited to river corridors, and if you went away from the river corridors there wasn't that much impact. That's what our findings tend to support." Bush doesn't expect that his new findings will settle the...
  • The African Source Of The Amazon's Fertilizer

    11/18/2006 4:22:58 PM PST · by blam · 23 replies · 1,078+ views
    Science News Magazine ^ | 11-18-2006 | Sid Perkins
    The African source of the Amazon's fertilizer Sid Perkins In the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere, massive dust storms from the African Sahara waft southwest across the Atlantic to drop tons of vital minerals on the Amazon basin in South America. Now, scientists have pinpointed the source of many of those dust storms and estimated their dust content. ON THE WAY. Satellite photo shows dust (arrow), bound for the Amazon, blowing away from the Sahara's Bodélé depression. NASA The Amazonian rainforest depends on Saharan dust for many of its nutrients, including iron and phosphorus (SN: 9/29/01, p. 200: http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20010929/bob9.asp)....
  • Putting the carbon back: Black is the new green

    08/17/2006 6:27:04 AM PDT · by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit · 29 replies · 1,094+ views
    Nature ^ | 9 August 2006 | Emma Marris
    One way to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere is to put it back in the ground. In the first of two News Features on carbon sequestration, Quirin Schiermeier asked when the world's coal-fired power plants will start storing away their carbon. In the second, Emma Marris joins the enthusiasts who think that enriching Earth's soils with charcoal can help avert global warming, reduce the need for fertilizers, and greatly increase the size of turnips. J. LEHMANN Drop of the black stuff: terra preta contrasts strongly with normal soil in colour (above) and produces much more vigorous crops (below)....
  • Amazon rainforest ‘could become a desert’

    07/24/2006 4:44:22 AM PDT · by voletti · 50 replies · 1,004+ views
    daily times pakistan ^ | 7/24/06 | daily times monitor
    LAHORE: The vast Amazon rainforest is on the verge of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world’s climate, alarming research suggests. And the process, which would be irreversible, could begin as early as next year. Geoffrey Lean and Fred Pearce, writing for The Independent on Sunday, quote studies conducted by the blue-chip Woods Hole Research Centre in Amazonia as concluding that the forest cannot withstand more than two consecutive years of drought without breaking down. “Scientists say that this would spread drought into the northern hemisphere, including Britain, and could massively accelerate global warming with incalculable consequences,...
  • Another ‘Stonehenge’ discovered in Amazon

    06/28/2006 2:09:13 PM PDT · by IllumiNaughtyByNature · 48 replies · 1,371+ views
    MSNBC ^ | June 27, 2006 | Stan Lehman
    SAO PAULO, Brazil - A grouping of granite blocks along a grassy Amazon hilltop may be the vestiges of a centuries-old astronomical observatory — a find that archaeologists say shows early rainforest inhabitants were more sophisticated than previously believed. snip...
  • 'Amazon Stonehenge' found in Brazil

    05/13/2006 4:26:36 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 13 replies · 703+ views
    AFP on Yahoo ^ | 5/13/06 | AFP
    RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Archaeologists discovered a pre-colonial astrological observatory possibly 2,000 years old in the Amazon basin near French Guiana, said a report. "Only a society with a complex culture could have built such a monument," archaeologist Mariana Petry Cabral, of the Amapa Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (IEPA), told O Globo newspaper. The observatory was built of 127 blocks of granite each three meters (10 feet) high and regularly placed in circles in an open field, she said. Cabral said the site resembles a temple which could have been used as an observatory, because the blocks...
  • 'Brazilian Stonehenge' discovered

    05/13/2006 12:19:52 AM PDT · by Jedi Master Pikachu · 36 replies · 2,327+ views
    BBC ^ | May 13, 2006 | Steve Kingston
    Brazilian archaeologists have found an ancient stone structure in a remote corner of the Amazon that may cast new light on the region's past. The site, thought to be an observatory or place of worship, pre-dates European colonisation and is said to suggest a sophisticated knowledge of astronomy. Its appearance is being compared to the English site of Stonehenge. It was traditionally thought that before European colonisation, the Amazon had no advanced societies. Winter solstice The archaeologists made the discovery in the state of Amapa, in the far north of Brazil. A total of 127 large blocks of stone were...
  • Reproducing the Amazon's black soil could bolster fertility and remove carbon from atmosphere

    02/18/2006 10:15:42 PM PST · by Moonman62 · 44 replies · 1,805+ views
    Cornell ^ | 02/18/06 | Cornell
    ST. LOUIS -- The search for El Dorado in the Amazonian rainforest might not have yielded pots of gold, but it has led to unearthing a different type of gold mine: some of the globe's richest soil that can transform poor soil into highly fertile ground. That's not all. Scientists have a method to reproduce this soil -- known as terra preta, or Amazonian dark earths -- and say it can pull substantial amounts of carbon out of the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, helping to prevent global warming. That's because terra preta is loaded with...
  • Bird's-Eye View Of The Amazon (Airborne Archaeologist Challenges The Myth Of A Pristine Wilderness)

    05/30/2004 5:31:44 PM PDT · by blam · 46 replies · 2,952+ views
    Penn Arts And Science ^ | 5-30-2004 | Ted Mann
    Bird’s-Eye View of the Amazon Airborne Archaeologist Challenges the Myth of a Pristine Wilderness by Ted Mann In the office of a typical archaeologist, you would expect to find things like stone tools, pottery fragments, and maybe even a few Wooly Mammoth bones. But Clark Erickson is no typical archaeologist. Oversize rolls of aerial photographs are stacked into tubular pyramids on a desk and worktable in his University Museum office. They fill up file cabinets and populate a storage room. At last count, he had about 700 giant aerial and satellite images—almost all of them picturing some region of the...
  • Amazonian find stuns researchers

    09/20/2003 6:15:45 PM PDT · by vannrox · 44 replies · 2,918+ views
    The Seattle Times ^ | 9-20-03 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
    Amazonian find stuns researchers Deep in the Amazon forest of Brazil, archaeologists have found a network of 1,000-year-old towns and villages that refutes two long-held notions: that the pre-Columbian tropical rain forest was a pristine environment that had not been altered by humans, and that the rain forest could not support a complex, sophisticated society. A 15-mile-square region at the headwaters of the Xingu River contains at least 19 villages that are sited at regular intervals and share the same circular design. The villages are connected by a system of broad, parallel highways, Florida researchers reported in yesterday's issue of...