Author(s): Linda Scott Cummings

Year: 2002


Previous testing on five terraces at Machu Picchu yielded a wide variety of pollen

representing grasses, cloud forest plants, and agricultural crops. Previously, pollen samples were

examined from three depths on five terraces to assess the quality of pollen preservation, provide

a pollen record of plants growing on and near the terraces, and identify the presence of any

agricultural crops (Cummings 2000). That study yielded sufficient pollen preservation and a wide

variety of pollen representing plants growing on the terraces, as well as in areas nearby. Evidence

for agriculture was recovered at all levels, indicating that at some point these terraces were used

to grow maize and a variety of other crops including potatoes at some or several times in the past.

In addition, this sampling design carried the benefit of identifying a depth range for future sampling

to begin examining smaller quantities of time. The middle depth range (5-15 inches) was selected

for analysis this time. The original sampling design was to collect three samples at depths of 0-5

inches, 5-15 inches, and 15-25 inches below the surface. Once a depth range was selected for

future analysis (for instance the 5-15 inch depth range), this depth range would be divided into

three samples, resulting in field sampling at depths of 5-8, 8-11, and 11-14 inches. In this manner,

samples would reflect accumulation of sediments over less time and become more accurate

retrodictors of vegetation and agriculture on the terraces. Five samples from depths of 5-15 inches

below the surface were examined from five additional terrace locations in this study.

Cite this Record

POLLEN ANALYSIS OF FIVE ADDITIONAL TERRACES AT MACHU PICCHU, PERU. Linda Scott Cummings. 2002 ( tDAR id: 378800) ; doi:10.6067/XCV86972ZF

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