Testing the sustainability and sensitivity to climatic change of terrace agricultural systems in the Peruvian Andes: a pilot study
Branch, N. P., Kemp, R. A., Silva, B., Meddens, F. M., Williams, A., Kendall, A. and Pomacanchari, C. V. (2007) Testing the sustainability and sensitivity to climatic change of terrace agricultural systems in the Peruvian Andes: a pilot study. Journal of Archaeological Science, 34 (1). pp. 1-9. ISSN 0305-4403
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2006.03.011
The results of an integrated geoarchaeological and palaeoecological pilot study of a prehistoric agricultural terrace and nearby mire basin are presented. They reveal two stages of terrace construction for the cultivation of Zea mays during the Middle Horizon (615–695 AD) and late, Late Intermediate Period (1200–1400 AD). These stages were strongly associated with evidence for vegetation succession, destabilisation and erosion of the surrounding landscape, and changes in mire surface wetness. The reasons for agricultural terrace abandonment and/or reconstruction are uncertain, with only circumstantial evidence for climatically induced agricultural change.