Relict canal course, Lower Ica Valley, Peru
A study of food remains from ancient settlement sites along the lower Ica valley in Peru confirms earlier suggestions that farming undermined the natural vegetation so badly that eventually much of the area had to be abandoned.
A research team led by the University of Cambridge looked for evidence of wild and domesticated foods from settlement sites spanning roughly 750 BC to 1000 AD. They found that, in less than two thousand years, the valley inhabitants had gone from subsisting on gathered foods, through a period of intense agriculture, and back again to a largely subsistence diet.
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