Satellite images of the South-West Amazon, on the territory of modern Bolivia, you notice strange and illogical objects. They look like tiny areas of dense forest in the middle of savanna is a kind of Islands of greenery in the arid plains. All versions of natural origin of these Islands has failed, but only recently have scientists managed to prove that it is the handiwork of man, part of an ancient and widespread system of man-made Islands for growing food.

Today there 6643 such island, of which 4700 – with a high probability of artificial. Is a tiny, tiny mounds with a height of 3 m and an area less than 0.5 hectares, are located randomly and are not linked. Archaeologists have conducted excavations in this region and 60 islets found ash, fragments of shells, bones and other signs of human habitation. The Islands have no natural base, this mound of earth and stone that were purposefully created about 10 000 years ago.

These islets of elevation become from December to March, when the Savannah is flooded after winter. The next six months there is drought so the sprouted plants without protection will die. The Islands were just such protection for crops, in particular, and at the time of the flood. They created capacity for the accumulation of moisture, were built housing. The ancient natives grown here are cassava, pumpkin and corn, and the first traces date back 350 10 years ago, and the corn appeared 6800 years ago, thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

The land on Islands is not just processed but also fertilized for higher yields. The ancient ancestors of the locals have invested in these areas so much work that many plots remain fertile until now, clearly standing out against the dead of the desert.

Source — University of Exeter