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Staircase Farms of the Ancients


Cook, O.F.

Original publication date: 1915
Original publisher: National Geographic Society
Publication status: Out of print


“Astounding farming skill of the ancient Peruvians, who were among the most industrious and highly organized people in history.” This is the subtitle of this article documenting a 1915 expedition to Peru to investigate the old Incan and pre-Incan farming techniques and culture. Their terracing systems are unparalleled.

For example, this quote is one of the picture captions. “We are able to get a glimpse of life among the ancient Incas through the part of their vocabulary that has come down to us. They had different expressions to denote all the degrees of drunkenness, which shows that they had no prohibition; the absence of words for buying and selling shows that money was unknown; the fact that they had a single word to denote “enemy” and “soldiers” would indicate that they must have been “peace-at-any-price people.”

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