Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lost Amazonian Towns

Archaeologists working in the Amazon Jungle Basin have discovered the area was once home to densely-populated towns.

The Upper Xingu area in Brazil was once thought virgin territory, but criss-cross road patterns were discovered by researchers, suggesting it once hosted many settlements with sizable populations.  There are signs of agriculture and farmlands, and even fisheries, dating back to before the first European settlers ever hit the continent (the 15th-Century).

While the sites are nearly invisible today, overgrown by jungle, through a variety of technological and old-fashioned means, the researchers have discovered quite a bit about the urbanization which eradicates accepted ideas of what the ancient civilizations were like when they thrived.

Much like contemporary Greek and European towns, these were walled establishments with a system of roadworks, connected by a main roadway, surrounding the area.  The inhabitants are thought to have been eradicated by the European colonists, and the diseases they brought with them.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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