Lost Amazon civilisation revealed
2010-01-12 0:00

By Claire Bates | DailyMail.co.uk

Hundreds of geometric monuments unearthed deep in the Amazon may have been left behind by a previously unknown society, say scientists.
Archaeologists have found more than 200 earthworks shaped as perfect circles and squares, many connected by straight roads. They have dated one site to 1283AD but say others could be from as early as 200AD.


Aerial photograph and plan of the Fazenda Colorada site, which is made up of clear geometric shapes. Excavations suggest inhabitants lived in the three-sided square.

The earthen foundations were found in a region more than 150miles across, covering northern Bolivia and Brazil's Amazonas state.
The first ones were uncovered in 1999, after large areas of pristine forest was cleared for cattle grazing.
Sculpted from the clay rich soils of Amazonia, the earthworks are made up of 30ft wide and 10ft deep ditches alongside 3ft high walls. The largest ring ditches founds so far are 1,000ft in diameter.

The structured earth mounds or 'geoglyphs' can now be spotted against the treeless, savanna-like landscape and scientists have compiled an archive using Google Earth.
A team of researchers have analysed all the findings in a paper published in the journal Antiquity.
They found that most earthworks were clustered on a 200m high plateau at the top of river valleys. This would have given inhabitants a defensive advantage with a clear view of people coming up river. Most were also placed near spring water sources.


Aerial photograph of the Fazenda Parana site. The geometric shape indicates such places had high symbolic significance.

The researchers hypothesised that the monuments may also have had a ceremonial function, due to the highly symbolic layout of the mounds.
Co-author Denise Schaan from Federal University of Par in Brazil, said: 'Whether the sites were purely ceremonial or defensive, it is clear that the area was densely populated by relatively sedentary people at the eve of European contact.'

Ms Schaan said they estimated at least 300 people would be needed to build a geoglyph when taking both workers and domestic helpers into account. This points to a regional population of around 60,000 people.
She added that nearly ten times as many earthworks may exist undetected under the remaining forest.

Excavations at some sites have also revealed evidence of permanent habitation, including domestic ceramics, charcoal and grinding stone fragments.

The findings cast serious doubt on previous studies that stated the area could only support small, impermanent villages.
Instead it is likely the Amazon teemed with complex societies. These were probably wiped out by diseases brought to South America by colonists 500 years ago.

Article from: DailyMail.co.uk



Related Articles
Amazonian ants make males redundant to become world's first all-female species
The first Boys From Brazil: Nazi graveyard discovered deep in the Amazon rainforest
Amazonian queen excavations reveal ancient palace in anlurfa
Slide Rule Sense: Amazonian Indigenous Culture Demonstrates Universal Mapping Of Number Onto Space
Team finds more traces of lost Amazon civilization
600 Year Old Amazon Mummies of the Chachapoyas Caught In Terror
How a prehistoric sat nav stopped our ancestors getting lost in Britain
Sacred Geometry: Flower of Life
Jain - Sacred Geometry & Vedic Mathematics (Video)
Brussel's geomancy and it's hidden symbology"


Latest News from our Front Page

Scary Times For California Farmers As Snowpack Hits Record Lows
2015-04-02 2:45
The water outlook in drought-racked California just got a lot worse: Snowpack levels across the entire Sierra Nevada are now the lowest in recorded history — just 6 percent of the long-term average. That shatters the previous low record on this date of 25 percent, set in 1977 and again last year. Morning traffic makes its way toward downtown Los Angeles ...
Sharia Policeman in Swedish School
2015-04-02 0:58
Editor's Note: Unfortunately this is not an April Fools story. On monday morning emergency services were called to Eductus in Borås, a school specialized in teaching Swedish to immigrants, after a Muslim student threatened classmates who did not abide by his strict interpretation of Islam. They were reprimanded for laughing and a Christian woman who refused to wear a veil fainted ...
“Us” and “Them”
2015-04-01 22:30
I’ve decided to translate yet another one of Julia Caesar’s popular Sunday chronicles available in Swedish on the website Snaphanen. This one is named “Us and Them” and concerns a scandal of epic proportions, the Swedish governments “society coach” program. The plan was for the coaches to assist newly arrived immigrants with getting jobs and becoming integrated into society. The ...
The Expulsion and Extermination of Eastern European Germans: An Overview
2015-04-01 17:40
"Since the end of the war about 3,000,000 people, mostly women and children and overaged men, have been killed in eastern Germany and south-eastern Europe; about 15,000,000 people have been deported or had to flee from their homesteads and are on the road. About 25 per cent of these people, over 3,000,000 have died. About 4,000,000 men and women have ...
Your Smartphone Could be Tracking You Every 3 Minutes, Study Says
2015-04-01 2:24
Your apps want to know where you are Smartphone apps regularly collect large amounts of data on users’ locations, sometimes as often as every three minutes, new research suggests. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study where they asked 23 people to use their Android smartphones normally, and tracked location data requests from each device with specially designed software, the Wall ...
More News