On satellite images of the Southwest of the Amazon, in the territory of modern Bolivia, you can see strange and illogical objects. They look like tiny patches of dense forest in the middle of the savannah - a kind of greenery in the middle of an arid plain. All versions of the natural origin of these islets turned out to be untenable, but only recently scientists have been able to prove that this is the work of human hands, part of an ancient and large-scale system of man-made islands for growing food.
Today, 6643 such islets are known, of which 4700 are most likely artificial. These are very tiny mounds, up to 3 m high and less than 0.5 hectares in area, they are randomly located and not connected in any way. Archaeologists excavated this region and found ash, shell fragments, bones and other signs of human habitation on 60 islets. The islets have no natural foundation, they are mounds of earth and stone, which were purposefully created about 10, 000 years ago.
These elevations become islands from December to March, when the savannah is flooded after winter. For the next six months, drought reigns here, so the germinated plants will die without protection. The islets served as just such a protection for crops - including during floods. They were used to create containers for the accumulation of moisture, housing was erected. The ancient aborigines cultivated here cassava, pumpkin and corn, and traces of the first date back to 10, 350 years ago, and corn appeared 6, 800 years ago, which is thousands of years earlier than previously thought.
The land on the islands was not only cultivated, but also fertilized for better yields. The ancient ancestors of the local residents invested so much work in these areas that many allotments remain fertile to this day, contrasting with the background of the dead desert.