Sacred Soil — An Indigenous, Pre-Colombian Technology That Might Just Save Our Planet

biocharThis video, recently completed by anthropologist Frederique Apffel-Marglin, explores a type of soil throughout the Amazon Basin, known as Amazonian Dark Earth. This soil, over 8,500 years old, is still fertile today. Indeed, it is considered to be the most sustainable soil in the world. It gave rise to a complex and populous Amazonian civilization, the first in the Americas. With the demographic collapse that happened with the coming of the Spaniards in the 16th century that saw 99% of Amerindians die, the knowledge of this soil has been lost. Amazonian Dark Earth can at once address deforestation and food sovereignty as well as mitigate the climate crisis thanks to the biochar that it contains. It is full of ceramic shards which come from offerings to Earth Beings, providing us with an alternative to relating to the earth as an inert mechanism to be exploited for the sole benefits of humans.

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