Brazil’s Ancient Amazon Civilization More Developed than Thought

Kuikuro dam in the Brazilian Amazon Scientists have discovered with the help of satellite imagery the remains of ancient once densely populated towns in west Brazil, an area that was thought to be virgin forest. The report in Friday's edition of the journal Science describes clusters of towns and smaller villages that were connected by complex road networks and were arranged around large central plazas.

Researches also discovered signs of farming, wetland management and fish farms in the ancient settlements that are now almost completely covered by rainforest.

The tribes living in the newly found settlements, which date back to before the first Europeans arrived in the Upper Xingu region of the Brazilian Amazon in the 15th Century, don't seem to be as sophisticated as well-known cultures like the Maya to the north, but still, their culture was much more complex that anthropologists had believed.

Professor Mike Heckenberger, from the University of Florida, in Gainesville, said that, even though the settlements were not cities, this is still urbanism, as "they have quite remarkable planning and self-organization, more so than many classical examples of what people would call urbanism."

The remains are hardly visible, but they could be identified by members of the Kuikuro tribe, who apparently are the direct descendents of those ancient tribes.

The scientists used both satellite imagery and GPS navigation in order to uncover the towns, which used to be surrounded by large walls, similar to the ones encountered in medieval European and ancient Greek towns.

Heckenberger and colleagues first reported evidence of the culture in 2003, and now they have discovered new details of the ancient civilizations.

The local populations declined considerably after Europeans arrived in the 28 prehistoric residential sites. The people that used to live in the towns are believed to have been wiped out when European colonists arrived and brought diseases with them.

Mercopress

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

Lula Blames Gossip for Brazilian Crisis

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared that he was indignant because of ...

Mr. Amaral, the Military Regime You So Much Admire Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Rule Over Brazil

This piece is a rebuttal to an article written by Ricardo C. Amaral   titled ...

China’s Earthquake Shortens Brazil’s BRIC Summit. Chinese Leader Cuts Short Trip

The leaders from the world’s four biggest emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India and ...

Brazil to Encourage Over 5,000 Small Businesses to Export

The Brazilian government intends to introduce 5,200 micro and small businesses in international trade ...

After Decades of Neglect Brazil Starts Studies for 150 New Technical Schools

More than 150 technical schools will start being implemented in Brazil, starting January 2008. ...

Clashing Colors

Considered by some one of the best Brazilian painters, Cândido Portinari has also been ...

Piranha: Deadly and Delicious

Larry M. Lynchby: Terry Caesar They had it even before we knew what was ...

Abranches’ Sneak Preview

American audiences will soon have the chance to know the work of filmmaker Aluizio ...

Brazil 3-0 Soccer Loss to Argentina in Beijing Drives President Lula Mad

The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva criticized sharply the spirit of ...

Thanks to Middle East Brazil Chicken Exports Bring 16% Revenue Boost

The Middle East, in 2009, once again was the main buyer market worldwide for ...