Inhabitants of the Amazon basin may have cultivated plants 10,000 years ago

Edited By: Bharat Sharma WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Apr 10, 2020, 01:40 PM(IST)

Handout picture released by SETEC (Science and Technology Secretary of Amapa State) showing the biggest Dinizia excelsa tree, known in Brazil as Angelim vermelho, found in the Paru State Forest which is shared by the northern Brazilian states of Amapa and Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The new findings from Bolivia claim that plants were grown in south-west Amazonia

Humans may have begun cultivation of plants over 10,000 years ago, a new research claims.

According to scientists, the Amazon basin witnessed cultivation of squash and cassava over 10,000 years ago.

The new findings from Bolivia claim that plants were grown in south-west Amazonia.

Earlier data tells us that the Middle East, China, Southwest Mexico and Northwest South America served as cultivation hotpots after the last ice age.

“[Previous work] identified south-west Amazonia as a potential centre of domestication because in this area they found a lot of wild relatives of domesticated plants,” said Dr Umberto Lombardo of the University of Bern, one of the authors of the research.

pp
Handout picture released by SETEC (Science and Technology Secretary of Amapa State) showing the biggest Dinizia excelsa tree, known in Brazil as Angelim vermelho, found in the Paru State Forest which is shared by the northern Brazilian states of Amapa and Para in the Amazon basin, on August 20, 2019 | AFP
 

The authors shared their findings in the journal Nature, where they claimed to have used a variety of sources, including Google Earth to investigate over 6,600 forest islands.

Out of the 82 soil samples, 60 showed signs of human inhabitance. They found charcoal, shells, and bone fragments in the areas.

They further investigated the area and found that 4,700 forest islands were inhabited by human beings, where they got rid of their waste.

“They are places where people just threw their rubbish after eating or whatever they did,” said Lombardo.

This process must have gone on for over a thousand years.

Read in App