Calls mount for cleanup of Lake Titicaca


Watching the interplay of sunlight and thunderheads over the vast blueness of Lake Titicaca, it is easy to understand why the Inca considered this the place where civilization began. Yet Titicaca’s powerful presence in pre-Hispanic creation myth is more than a function of the water body’s scale and beauty. The 3,250-square-mile (8,400-sq-km) lake warms the surrounding land at night, making agriculture possible by moderating the harsh climate of the Peruvian and Bolivian Altiplano, 12,500 feet (3,800 meters) above sea level. And there is evidence nomadic peoples inhabited the area between 8000 and 2000 B.C., finally settling down to farm some 3,000 years ago—over two millennia before the Incan empire emerged. Indigenous Quechua and Aymara farmers still rely on the... [Log in to read more]

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