Discovered: Ancient Amazonian Villages Laid Out Like Clocks
The circular villages all had remarkably similar layouts, with elongated mounds circling a central plaza like marks on a clock.
UNIVERSITY OF EXETER, UK — Billions of laser pulses fired from a helicopter flying over the Brazilian part of the Amazon rainforest have exposed a vast network of long-abandoned circular and rectangular-shaped villages, a new study found.
The abandoned villages dated from the years 1300 to 1700. The round ones all had remarkably similar layouts, with elongated mounds circling a central plaza like marks on a clock.
"These elongated mounds, when seen from above, look like the rays of the sun," the researchers wrote in the study, which was published in the Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology.
Using Lidar technology the researchers could penetrate the rainforest's canopy and map the landscape below.
The distinctive and consistent way indigenous people arranged these villages suggests that they had specific social models for the way they organized their communities. It's even possible that this configuration was meant to represent the cosmos, the researchers noted.
Further analysis of these "sun" villages revealed they had carefully planned roads that were up to 6 meters wide, with high banks.
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