Friday, December 18, 2009

EXCELLENT ARTICLE: Nazca mystery solved: No trees, no civilization

Nazca mystery solved: No trees, no civilization
The sudden and mysterious disappearance of the once-bustling Nazca civilization in 500 AD should be a reminder and a warning to countries that allow widespread deforestation.
Sat, Nov 21 2009

When you see the Mars-like terrain inscribed with the mysterious kilometer long drawings that Nazca is so famous far, it’s hard to imagine that this place was once a lush, Eden-like setting whose flora and fauna supported the expansion of the Nazca settlement.

The anchor species of the entire region was the slow-growing huarango tree, a relative of mesquite, which could live for centuries sending tap roots down 180 feet to access deep water resources. The trees fixed nitrogen out of the air, producing a nutritious seed that was a staple of the Nazcan people, and millineae of deposited leaves created the perfect conditions for a nascent agricultural society.

According to Alex J. Chepstow-Lusty, co-author of the paper, Nazca’s soil fertility was like a siren call, beckoning the society towards a cliff-like future quite similar to our own -- a society that is dominated by “agribusiness” and the widespread deforestation which makes it possible.

Please read the full article:

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