Ancient Civilizations in the Amazon – Another Biochar Fact or Fiction?


I have begun to add more blog details about “Terra Preta” and “biochar” to help raise awareness about potential benefits of this ancient soil improvement process.

An article by Juan Forero Washington Post Staff Writer (Sept 5, 2010): Scientists Find Evidence Discrediting Theory that Amazon was Virtually Unlivable highlights discoveries by scientists in varied regions of the Amazon – most notably, in Eastern Peru.

“…The cultures [of the Amazon] were anything but primitive. They have magnitude, they have complexity,” However, there are other scientists who think that these assertions are being made merely “to secure promotions.”

Not only is this article very interesting to read but it will also bring into perspective the relationship of what is believed to be a principle contribution to the survival of these Amazonian civilizations – enriched soil.

“…The best soil that you can find in the Amazon – [is not found] in natural form…Three feet deep here, and stretching nearly 100 acres, this terra preta could have fed at least 5,000 people. The forests here were also carefully managed…”

There are numerous efforts around the world to demonstrate that this ancient process practiced in the Amazon can be reproduced in geographies that lack rich soils.

As you read more about biochar, you can decide whether the benefits are real, or just for promotion.


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