Monday, 20 September 2010

Paper Accepted

My last paper about Pre-Columbian agriculture has been accepted for publication on the Journal of Archaeological Science!!!
In the next days I will give you more details, it should go on-line on Sciencedirect quite soon.
Tomorrow I hope I will be able to leave the Beni for Santa Cruz. They have been burning the pampa for weeks and the air is so smoky that there is not enough visibility for the plains to land on Trinidad airport...
they are so crazy...and stupid!!! Because of the fire hundreds of hectares cultivated with cacao have been lost!!! goes on...and I will probably take the bus :-(

Friday, 10 September 2010

Confluence point - 14ºS 65ºW

On our way back from San Ramón to Trinidad we – a international and multidisciplinary team of young researchers from the University of Bern (Switzerland) – had the chance to reach one of the many unexplored confluence points within Bolivia.

With this we marked the first confluence point in the Llanos de Moxos, which contains the department of Beni. This is the region where we work reconstructing the landscape evolution. The Llanos de Moxos constitute the southwestern part of the Amazon Basin. The climate is characterized by two marked seasons: the rainy season from October to April, when precipitations can reach 500 mm per month, and the dry season with monthly precipitation of <50

From the main road we entered the Estancia “Curisal”. After getting the permission from the farm manager (“encargado”) we drove a few kilometers throughout the green ocean of “pampa”, only interrupted by some “Totaí” palms. Eventually, we reached the confluence point with our Tractor-like Land Cruiser (Model 2000; 4500cc). This confluence is maybe one of the easiest to reach – at least during the dry season.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

La "gallina" dalle uova extra-large

Uno dei precedenti post, quello che descrive come preparare una frittata Mojeña, ha suscitato una certa curiosità. Che "gallina" fa uova così grandi?
Eccovela: si chiama Rhea americana, nome locale piyù (si pronuncia pigliu) ed è il parente americano dello struzzo.

Monday, 23 August 2010

In the field

In these days I am going on secondary roads which are far from any main road or village. So, it is full of anilmals: the swamp deer is quite difficult to see, the alligator and the bird are everywhere. Anna and Bernhard are on a trip to Santa Ana, they will be back next week. I will keep working alone with the help of Don Jorge, the official chofer I had when I did the survey of Lomas in 2006-07. We spend all the time chatting about "ganaderos" gossip :-)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Lake San Josè

We spent the last 3 days doing the complete profile of Lake San Josè. A huge lake of 6 by 3 km.
Our friend Chiqui, on the right, helped us a lot. He guided us and he got the boat and the motor.

As you see, we improved our coring table. Now it is a two pieces device: a larger base and a little box on the top. In the picture you see it up side down while we transport it to the very centre of the lake. The water level in the centre was about 1.2 meters.

Here me and Bernhard during the opeation of taking out the cores. It was quite an hard work, we got 3 profile inside the lake and 2 outside with really interesting results... but, unfortunately, I need to wait for 14C before I can say anything for sure. Just as first guess...I would not say this lake has a tectonic origin...

Thursday, 12 August 2010

How to prepare an egg in Moxos

Get one egg from locals.

If you want to save the shell, make 2 little holes as shown in the picture.

Take an human pump like Bernhard to make the egg come out from the shell.

Fry some onions and add the egg.

Enjoy your animal house serving of scrambled egg :-)

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

On the road... laguna Coitorama you can find a recently crashed airplane to play with :-)
Tomorrow we will start work on our sweet Isla tesoro and then we will have a look at the lake close to Loma Salvatierra. I am very happy because all the "encargados de las estancias" that I know from previous years are still here. Today we did a public relations tour and obtained quite a positive outcome.
Tomorrow (I hope) I will give you the recipe for the tortilla mojeña,
bis morgen,

Sunday, 8 August 2010


We are in Trinidad (where the internet conection is really crap....)
We have already got the stuff we left in San Igncio last year and tomorrow we will do the first coring in the area of Laguna Coitorama. As you see in the photo, this year we have a really cool LandCruiser...far better then the argetinian, plastic made hilux.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Ready to leave

We will leave tomorrow and get to Santa Cruz Tuesday at 11:30 (Bolivian time).
There has been more press coverage on the JAS paper:

I am very impressed by the interest the Press has shown and pleased with the encouraging comments of Denise Shaan, Clark Erickson and Colin McEwan, all of them are well known researchers on Pre-Columbian Amazonia.

I will get back to you from Bolivia.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Here Again

Hello world,
The next season is approaching. We will leave for Bolivia on the 2nd of August and will stay 2 months. This blog, from now on, is alive again.

Meanwhile you can have a look at this recently published paper: which already had some press coverage

Stay tuned.