Lima (Peru), July 2 (ANI): In a new study, a team of scientists have determined that the success of the Inca was boosted by a period of global warming that lasted more than four centuries.
The new study is called "Putting the Rise of the Inca within a Climatic and Land Management Context" and was prepared by Alex Chepstow-Lusty, an English paleo-biologist working for the French Institute of Andean Studies, in Lima, Peru.
The Inca Empire was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. It began as a support group in the Cuzco area, where the legendary first Sapa Inca, Manco Capac founded the Kingdom of Cuzco around 1200.
According to a report in Living in Peru, a team of English and US scientists has analyzed pollen, seeds and isotopes in core samples taken from the deep mud of a small lake not far from Machu Picchu to determine that the success of the Inca was underpinned by a period of warming that lasted more than four centuries.
The four centuries coincided directly with the rise of this startling, hyper-productive culture that at its zenith was bigger than the Ming Dynasty China and the Ottoman Empire, the two most powerful contemporaries of the Inca.
"This period of increased temperatures allowed the Inca and their predecessors to expand, from AD 1150 onwards, their agricultural zones by moving up the mountains to build a massive system of terraces fed frequently by glacial water, as well as planting trees to reduce erosion and increase soil fertility," said the scientists.
"They re-created the landscape and produced the huge surpluses of maize, potatoes, quinua and other crops that freed a rapidly growing population to build roads, scores of palaces like Machu Picchu and in particular the development of a large standing army," they added.
According to Alex, the report "raises the question of whether today's global warming may be another opportunity for the Andes." (ANI)