News of the WeekArchaeology

Green Farming by the Incas?

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Science  17 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5375, pp. 322
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5375.322

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A sediment record and archaeological evidence from a high valley in Peru suggest that at least one ancient people, the Incas, used conservation practices such as canals, terracing, and perhaps even tree planting so successfully that they actually restored degraded farmland. Those same tactics may work to help Peruvian farmers today, say botanists.