Llama muck and maize revolution drove Inca success

THE Inca civilisation was built on llama muck, an analysis of lake mud suggests. The dung allowed prehistoric South Americans to cultivate maize, stop hunter-gathering and settle as farmers. Good yields gave them time for mining metals, developing a civilisation – and building an empire. Analysis of pollen in mud cores from the bed of a lake near the Andean fortress city of Ollantaytambo, Peru, reveals that, there at least, the agricultural revolution happened very quickly, some 2700 years ago. Previously, people seem to have dined mostly on wild foods such as quinoa,
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