Archeology is not just digging up the past. It is also an attempt to understand the past in a way that helps us better plan
for the future.
If you’re one of the increasing numbers of people who try to choose their food responsibly, you’ve probably heard a lot about sustainable farming. Essentially, this means that farmers grow enough crops to meet demand and make a living without overusing critical natural resources, such as water, soil, and energy.
Yet the techniques that make farming sustainable in the dry plains of Africa won’t work in the rainforests of Costa Rica. Investigate how farmers in the past worked with their specific surroundings in the Canary Islands, a beautiful island chain just off the northwest coast Morocco.
Join this archaeological expedition to Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands, to find evidence of how the Spanish colonists who occupied the island from the late 1300s to the late 1800s adapted—or failed to adapt, in the case of some crops—their farming techniques to suit their new surroundings.
Take in the island’s striking volcanic landscape and white beaches as you survey for remnants of Spanish farms: terraces (flat areas cut into a hillside for growing crops), irrigation canals, walls, and pottery. As you hike, you’ll map these features so researchers can compare them to historical records to understand how the colonialists tried to farm.