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 Pará 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 Þanlýurfa
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

The Truth About Starbucks New Coconut Milk: It Isn’t Really Coconut Milk
2015-03-03 22:14
In an attempt to appeal to the non-dairy crowd, Starbucks is bringing “coconut milk” to the masses. After a successful trial run in select cities at the behest of their customers, Starbucks has decided to push forward with their dairy alternative. Providing a non-dairy alternative to dairy and soy is the second most requested customer idea of all time from MyStarbucksIdea.com, ...
USDA on board with shipping U.S. chickens to China for processing, then re-entry to States for human consumption
2015-03-03 21:32
“Chinese chicken” will soon have a whole new meaning, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently gave the green-light to four chicken processing plants in China, allowing chicken raised and slaughtered in the U.S. to be exported to China for processing, and then shipped back to the U.S. and sold on grocery shelves here. Furthermore, the imported processed ...
Feinstein: Netanyahu does not speak for all Jews
2015-03-03 21:52
US Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an “arrogant” man who does not speak for all Jews. The Jewish lawmaker made the remarks in an interview with CNN on Sunday ahead of Netanyahu's controversial visit to the United States. The Israeli premier arrived in Washington, DC, on Sunday night ...
Netanyahu to US: Don’t negotiate ‘bad deal’ with Iran
2015-03-03 21:12
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on the United States not to negotiate “a very bad deal” with Iran over its nuclear energy program. Speaking at a joint session of the US Congress in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, Netanyahu said, “We’ve been told for over a year that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well this is a ...
School Textbook: “There’s No Such Thing as Reverse Racism” Only White People can be Racist
2015-03-03 2:14
Only white people can be racist. A school textbook teaches students that “there is no such thing as reverse racism” and that women can never be as sexist as men. The passage, which appears to be taken from a “multicultural education series” book entitled Is Everyone Equal, states, “STOP: There is no such thing as reverse racism or reverse sexism (or the ...
More News »