Excavations conducted at a burial site from Jiskairumoko, Peru revealed shocking facts about the ancient people from the Andes Mountains. The research was led by a local villager and two graduate students.
The study showed that the Andes were populated soon after the entry on South America. Despite the harsh living conditions from this part of the continent, people settled here and started an entire population.
Ancient dwellers had bodies adapted to the environmental conditions
According to the researchers’ findings, we are talking about people who used to live in the Andes 7,000 years ago. Most likely, they were gatherers-hunters and established the first occupations from Earth. Ancient inhabitants developed increased resistance to the environment because their bodies suffered some modifications.
Excavations from the burial site revealed that in those times you needed a bigger heart and higher blood pressure to survive the conditions from Andes Mountains. Deeper genetic analysis showed that other adaptations were necessary if people wanted to survive those treacherous heights.
On the other hand, they haven’t yet managed to establish the exact moment when the inhabitants started to adapt. Most likely, the process started soon after their permanent establishment in the highlands. The population who lived around Lake Titicaca was analysed with the help of DNA from both ancient and modern people.
The results tell scientists even more information about early civilizations. The environment adaptation can also be connected to the highlanders’ transition. They exchanged hunting and gathering with farming. They were growing vegetables like maize and potatoes.
On the other hand, people who lived in the lowlands didn’t show the aforementioned signs of environmental adaptation. This situation can be caused by their stability – they remained hunter-gatherers. Researchers are still studying the excavation site and will soon publish their conclusions.