While the Hanging Gardens of Babylon is still considered missing, a garden treasure dated 3,800 years old is discovered in an underwater wetland in Canada.
The area where the ancient wapato garden was discovered is about 30 kilometers east of Vancouver and on a land belonging to the Native American group Katzie First Nation.
Wapato garden by A.Davey | Flickr
The area is found to have been deliberately divided in two areas, a dry and a wet portion, to fit the lifestyle of the tribe living in it. The dry part was where people built their homes. The wetland surprisingly is an underwater set-up.
A 40-square meter wide zone was submerged with stones piled on to the surface as though to fill the gaps and to assemble a pavement out of them. When the archaeologists took the stones out one by one, what they discovered underneath was a treasure trove of gardening history.
See: 3 Layers of Pyramid on Top of the Other Discovered in Existing Mexico Pyramid, Stunned Scientists!
They were able to pull out 4,000 wapato tubers that are sometimes called as Indian potato. Wapatos are known to grow in an area exactly where they were found, in a shallow wetland. But how they were buried with those pavement stones on top, the researchers have an explanation for that.
The submerged wapato garden dated 3,800 years old which is believed to have been engineered by Katzie First Nation tribe in Canada. (Photo by (Katzie Development Corporation)
The researchers believe that the pavement was preventing the crop from growing deeply on the ground. Keeping the tubers close to the surface allowed the natives to harvest them easily.
The tools found buried along the wapatos were used to pry the tubers out from the mud during harvest.
Wapato was not a domesticated crop but the plant provided a food source alternative for the natives. This discovery is an evidence that hunter-gatherers have learned to engineer agricultural features in their habitat to manage and produce resources.
The discovery is published as a research article for Agriculture in Science
See: Ancient Bronze Age City Discovered in Kurdish Village! Part of the World’s First Empire?