Posted by: Ali | March 16, 2010

Moray

How smart were the ancients? Bewilderingly so. Like the aqueducts of ancient Rome, or evidence that the Egyptians built functioning batteries, I am continually baffled. Where did all this knowledge disappear to?

Today I went with my family to Moray, which is basically an ancient greenhouse. It is the place where the ancient Peruvians would grow and breed crops to find strains that would survive in high altitudes. This was vitally important for the survival of all Andean cultures because, according to historians, if they had not figured out how to grow corn at such high altitudes they wouldn’t have been able to sustain any sizeable population at all, which would have meant no Incas.

Alien greenhouses

So how does it all work? Well basically the bowls catch sunlight in such a way, and the air circulates in such a way, that scientists have measured a 15 degree celcius difference in temperature between the bottom bowls and the top bowls.  They could grow virtually any plant in existence here.

My favourite part is the naming convention. The largest bowl is called “The Place that is Warm”; the second bowl is called “The Place that Has Grass”, and the third is called “Where the Princess Peed.”


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