Archaeology: The Lima Bean People of 6,000 Years Ago

New World civilizations were once considered juvenile compared with the ancient cultures of the Old World, but recent discoveries are changing this view. On the dry Peruvian coast 40 miles south of Lima, French Archaeologist Frederic Engel of Lima's La Molina University is excavating a primitive agricultural village that was apparently going strong 6,000 years ago. Though this is later than the appearance of the first forms of agriculture in the Middle East, about 9,000 years ago, it is still a respectable age.

The Chilca people, as Professor Engel calls them, lived on a desert flat near the mouth of...

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