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Scientists: Earthquakes, El Ninos fatal to earliest civilization in Americas

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Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:16 AM
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Scientists: Earthquakes, El Ninos fatal to earliest civilization in Americas
Source: EurekaAlert

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- First came the earthquakes, then the torrential rains. But the relentless march of sand across once fertile fields and bays, a process set in motion by the quakes and flooding, is probably what did in America's earliest civilization.

So concludes a group of anthropologists in a new assessment of the demise of the coastal Peruvian people who built the earliest, largest structures in North or South America before disappearing in the space of a few generations more than 3,600 years ago.

"This maritime farming community had been successful for over 2,000 years, they had no incentive to change, and then all of a sudden, 'boom,'" said Mike Moseley, a distinguished professor of anthropology at the University of Florida. "They just got the props knocked out from under them."

Moseley is one of five authors of a paper set to appear next week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The people of the Supe Valley along the central Peruvian coast did not use pottery or weave cloth in the settlements they founded as far back as 5,800 years ago. But they flourished in the arid desert plain adjacent to productive bays and estuaries. They fished with nets, irrigated fruit orchards, and grew cotton and a variety of vegetables, according to evidence in the region unearthed by Ruth Shady, a Peruvian archaeologist and co-author of the paper. As director of the Caral-Supe Special Archaeological Project, Shady currently has seven sites in the region under excavation.

Most impressively, the Supe built extremely large, elaborate, stone pyramid temples -- thousands of years before the better-known pyramids crafted by the Maya.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-01/uof-see0...
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ashling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:33 AM
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1. Just wondering about growing cotton
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 01:33 AM by ashling
did not use pottery or weave cloth

??? :shrug:???
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Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:39 PM
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2. I wondered about that also...no pottery or textiles?
I thought those two items were fundamental to settled cultures in that time period.
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