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19 diciembre 2014 5 19 /12 /diciembre /2014 17:50

Raised Field Agriculture

An ancient Incan way of agriculture called Raised Field Agriculture.
Agricultura en Campos Elevados

Los antiguos pueblos de las mesetas de los andes conocían una técnica de cultivo llamada Agricultura en Campos Elevados. Ellos labraban canales cerca de los lagos y apilaban el suelo extraído a los lados, para crear camas de cultivo elevadas. Estos canales ayudaban a las plantas a disponer de suministro de agua la mayor parte, si no todo el año. La técnica también creaba un microclima debido a la retención de calor por el agua, dadas las cualidades de retención de calor del líquido elemento, algo que ahora se conoce como capacidad calorífica, teniendo el agua una excepcional capacidad calorífica, que hace que el calor del sol se acumule en los canales de día y se irradie de noche, protegiendo así a las plantas de las heladas. Además los peces podrían haber sido criados allí, creando una especie de acuicultura que, al mismo tiempo repone el suelo con nitrógeno indispensable, nitrógeno que proviene del desecho de los peces y la fijación por plantas y microorganismos.


Tiwanaku preraised fields 2


An ancient Incan way of agriculture called Raised Field Agriculture. The ancient andean people would dig up canals near lakes and pile the soil on the sides to create raised beds. These canals help the plants by providing water most, if not all, of the year. This also creates a micro climate because of heat retention from the heat retention qualities of water in the waterways, thereby protecting the plants from frost. it’s reported that fish could have been raised there, creating a kind of aquaculture that at the same time replenishes the soil with some needed Nitrogen. 




El vicepresidente boliviano Álvaro García Linera destacaba a mediados de 2011 la tecnología agrícola e hidráulica que crearon y utilizaron culturas longevas que habitaron el actual territorio de Bolivia en tiempos preincaicos, para la producción de los alimentos "más importantes del mundo", en medio de las celebraciones por el Willka Kuti o Año Nuevo andino amazónico 5519, en la localidad central de Incalljata.
"Cómo no sentirnos orgullosos de nuestros antepasados que lograron crear nuevas civilizaciones agrícolas e hidráulicas, más importantes del mundo entero", dijo.
El gobernante boliviano se refirió al maíz, la quinua y el tarwui.
El Vicepresidente boliviano indicó que esas culturas longevas, entre ellas la de Tiawanacu e Incallajta, ya sabían controlar el agua en complejos y sistemas hidráulicos para distribuirlos en sus hogares. En cambio en "Europa la gente aun tenía que ir a traer el agua en baldes (recipientes) de madera" concluyó.



Modern use of an ancient farming system
Modern use of an ancient farming system


Wankarani Settlement Systems in Evolutionary Perspective: ...


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Inventing Indigenous Knowledge: Archaeology, Rural ...

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Lynn Swartley - 2002 - ‎Political Science

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William Isbell, ‎Helaine Silverman - 2008 - ‎History

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William H. Isbell, ‎Helaine Silverman - 2002 - ‎History

Michael W. Binford's University of Florida Home Page


PI: Alan L. Kolata, University of Chicago ; Co-I: Michael W. Binford, University of ... and historical variation interact with economic factors and affect households, ..

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Lomas artificiales, fragmentos de cerámicas y huesos de animales tallados fueron hallados en el departamento del Beni por el Proyecto Arqueológico Moxos. Estos indicios, según los expertos, evidenciarían la existencia de un pueblo amazónico que habría sido experto en la construcción de sistemas de riego para controlar fenómenos naturales como inundaciones y sequías. 


Existen unos 20.000 promontorios artificiales en los llanos de Moxos. Tienen al menos 1.400 años.






Campos elevados (raised fields, Moxos, Beni, Bolivia)



The Earth Movers

Today we know that the Moxos so understood nature, the region’s climate, and the environment that they built over 20,000 man-made hills upon which they constructed their homes to keep above the floodwaters that regularly inundate the region during the rainy season. They also built artificial lagoons, deep furrows and terraces where they cultivated their crops, as well as dikes and embankments that connected them all. Everything was structurally well-planned to collect and store water for consumption and irrigation during the dry season and to dispel excess floodwaters during seasonal floods. They planned their structures so well that they were able to change the PH balance of the soil and convert it into soil that was adequate for cultivating corn. Because of this, the Moxos peoples are called The Earth Movers.

The lack of clean drinking water was not a problem either as the Moxos used the “tarope” plant to purify the water (this plant absorbs impurities) and also leaves a rich sediment behind.

The Vice Ministry of Tourism, in coordination with the National Archeology Unit, converted an abandoned BID building, along with the Prefecture of Beni, into what is now this beautiful ethnological and archeological showcase.

The Moxos culture existed at the same time as the Tiwanaku culture between 800 BC and 1200 AD. It was one of the largest hydraulic civilizations on Earth. It can be compared in size to the Egyptians, although they dominated only the Nile River while the Moxos moved among, and developed, hundreds of rivers, lakes, streams and lagoons, adjusting them to the needs of the people.

The Kenneth Lee Archeological Museum of the Department of Beni opened its doors on 18 November 2002 and is itself built upon one of the Moxos' artificial hills. The building is circular and made of local materials. Outside the building you can see remnants of the local geography while inside you can learn about the singular cultural and religious characteristics of the Moxos peoples. The museum grounds contain specimens of local plant life, palm trees, tajibos and other flowers and plants typical of “Beniana” nature.

There are 4 wells that serve as replicas of the immense lakes the Moxos dug throughout what is now the department of Beni. They constructed thousands of square miles of hydraulic systems by hand!

Tourists who visit this museum are usually very surprised and greatly admire the history of this very developed culture. Today the descendants of the Moxos peoples still inhabit the region. Unfortunately, national education authorities have done nothing to include information about this culture in history books or education curricula; therefore few Bolivians and even fewer foreigners are aware that Eastern Bolivia rivaled Western Bolivia in cultural development. The hydraulic systems of embankments, furrows, channels, dikes and artificial hills were so extensive and there is evidence of agricultural production in such mass quantities, it is believed that at least 8 million Moxos inhabited the area as early as 800 years prior to the Christian era, that is to say, parallel to the most highly developed cultures of Northern Africa and Asia.

The museum contains aerial photographs of the extensive hydraulic systems that cover thousands of square miles on the plains of Beni. Tourists who can afford to would do well to hire a helicopter or small plane to do a fly-over of the region. It is believed the Moxos culture died out due to climactic calamities such as excessively long droughts, at about the same time the Tiwanaku culture began to wane. One very interesting find is that the Moxos used stone tools made form materials not found in this area. This leads some scientists to believe they may have possibly exchanged or traded with the Tiwanaku culture, but this hypothesis has yet to be studied in depth.

The museum is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm and does not close during the traditional midday “siesta” hours. On Saturdays it is open form 9 am to 1 pm. It is located 1.5 kilometers from the city center. Photography is allowed on the outdoor grounds but not indoors. For a city tour that includes this museum contact Moxos Tours.



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