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A Lesson in Applied Archaeology

A Lesson in Applied Archaeology
keywords: Peru - Bolivia
The land of the Lake Titicaca region of Peru and Bolivia was long thought to be unproductive agriculturally.
Archaeological projects in the high Andes around Lake Titicaca have documented a vast complex of agricultural earthworks, referred to as "raised fields," that supported ancient civilizations in the region. The raised fields were first used around 3000 years ago and were abandoned before or at the time of the arrival of the Spanish. The raised fields cover a total of 120,000 hectares (300,000 acres) of land, and represent an almost unimaginable effort.

In the early 1980s, archaeologist Clark Erickson, Peruvian agronomist Ignacio Garaycochea, anthropologist Kay Candler, and agricultural journalist Dan Brinkmeier began a small experiment in the Huatta, a Quechua-speaking community of farmers near Lake Titicaca. They persuaded some local farmers to rebuild a few of the raised fields, ...

Read more at about Archaeology (october 4, 2003)