Archaeologists find 81 lost settlements in the Amazon
Archaeologists have recently discovered at least 81 ancient settlements hidden in the Amazon rainforest.
ACRE, BRAZIL — Before the Europeans turned up in South America, the assumption was that the Amazon was mostly uninhabited. Well, we were wrong.
According to a new study published in Nature Communications, deforestation in the Amazon has uncovered at least 81 geoglyphs- trenches carved into the ground that were spotted on satellite images of Brazil's Upper Tapajos Basin.
The geoglyphs come in a range of different shapes and sizes, and are believed to date back centuries, from the years 1250 to 1500.
Archaeologists examined several locations and found fragments of pottery, stone axes, and fertile dark earth indicative of a long-term human settlement.
Researchers used models to estimate that between 1,000 to 1,500 wooden settlements were built in the southern rim of the Amazon alone, housing 500,000 to a million people.
This indigenous population was likely wiped out by the outbreak of diseases, and would have been worsened by the arrival of the Europeans.
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