Traces Of Conquistador Air Pollution In Peruvian Ice

February 10, 2015 5:56 PM

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Evidence of metal-rich smog was discovered in Peru, but is thought to have been produced hundreds of miles away in modern-day Bolivia by the silver mines of Potosí. The industrial history of Potosí has seen it named a UNESCO World Heritage site, writes Megan Gannon of NBC.

Before the Spanish arrived, the Inca had been mining silver for generations, but under colonial rule Potosi became the largest source of silver in the world. By the 17th century Potosí, which sits at an altitude of approximately 13,120 feet, was home to around 160,000 colonists and 13,500 indigenous...

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