The popularity of the Atacama Desert is scary.On the Pacific coast of northern Chile, the world’s driest non-polar desert constitutes Super arid, similar to Mars environment – So excessive that it rains on this sizzling place, It can bring death instead of life.
However, even life in the Atacama Desert has discovered a resolution. Archaeological data present that a whole lot of years in the past, this high-arid space supplied assist for agriculture-in a way flourishing meals supported Colombia throughout the time of Columbus and earlier than. Pre-Inca peoples People who used to reside right here
A gaggle of researchers led by Francisca Santana-Sagredo, a bioarchaeologist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, stated: “The transformation of agriculture started round 1000 BC and ended up with everlasting villages and spectacular The regional inhabitants supplied assist.” Wrote in a new study.
“Given the excessive environmental situations, how is that this improvement doable?”
Thanks to Santana-Sagredo and her team, we were able to solve this mystery. Researchers say that part of the problem is known to be the use of ancient irrigation techniques, but water supply itself is not the only prerequisite for a successful agricultural system in the Atacama Desert.
based on previous studies By some members of the same team-analyzing the chemical isotopes preserved in the bones and tooth remains of pre-Inca people-the researchers suspected that fertilizers were also used to help plants grow.
Now, in their new work, there is new evidence to support this hypothesis.
“We got down to gather and analyze a whole lot of archaeological crops and wild fruits from totally different archaeological websites in the valleys and oasis of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile,” Santana Sagredo and some of her co-authors Explain in the opinion article In research.
A total of 246 ancient plants were analyzed-these samples were conveniently preserved by the Atacama State-including corn, peppers, gourds, beans and quinoa.
Using the radiocarbon dating method and testing the isotope composition, the results show that the nitrogen isotope composition has increased dramatically since 1000 AD. This reading is so high that in fact, except for some plants, this phenomenon has never been seen. Antarctic Nunatak Where seabirds build nests.
According to the archaeological analysis of human bones and tooth residues in this area, among the tested plants, maize was the most affected, and at the same time (about 1000 AD) maize became the most widely consumed crop. Nitrogen isotopes have high readings.
According to the researchers, “The easiest rationalization” The reason for the surge in nitrogen content is ancient stool – technically called guanoIn the premodern era, there is a history of fertilizer as fertilizer, including the most likely use as a growth promoter for pre-Inca crops in the Atacama Desert.
Although the fertilization ability of seabird guano (also known as “Platinum”) may have brought this ancient culture of agriculture to a new level, ensuring the safety of fertilizer is not easy, nor is it a pleasant job.
“previous to [1000 CE] People could use different varieties of native fertilizers, resembling camel manure, however we consider that the introduction of chicken manure has triggered a great amount of intensification of farming strategies. This step change has elevated the manufacturing of crops, particularly corn, and rapidly turned the predominant One of the crops is the meals that sustains human survival,” Researcher explained.
“Considering the human (and llama) labor prices concerned, this shift is significant-bird droppings should be rigorously collected and transported on the coast for roughly 100 kilometers [about 60 miles] inland. “
Despite the challenges, new discoveries show that this is the behavior of the Chilean desert residents. Hundreds of years later, historical records show that this custom has continued to the time of contact with Europe – but we have never had any evidence that this custom started. In the whole thousand years ago.
“Ethnic historic data from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries describe how the locals took small boats from the rocky islands alongside the Pacific coast to acquire guano from southern Peru to the Tarapacá coast in northern Chile, and methods to extract, transport inland and use seabirds. Manure. A small quantity of profitable harvest,” the creator Written in their paper.
“Although in early historic data, guano was evenly distributed to every village, the similar supply identified that the use of guano was strictly managed, and those that extracted greater than approved or entered the guano space of neighbors , The loss of life penalty needs to be imposed and its excessive worth needs to be emphasised.”
The findings are reported in Natural plants.