According to a paper that the journal Nature Communications recently published, a team of archaeologists has discovered some ancient settlements. What’s even more interesting is that it was previously thought that this particular part of the Amazon rainforests was uninhabited. For years, experts have assumed that these ancient communities liked to live near the major rivers. However, this discovery proves that idea wrong. According to the new study, these areas once contained villages that up to one million people called home. Different communities that spoke different languages once lived there.
Thanks to this discovery of settlements away from the water, a huge gap in the Amazon history has now been filled. The rainforest was not untouched but instead, heavily influenced by humans and their activities like building or farming. According to the study’s lead author Jonas Gregorio de Souza, they first found the sites of the settlements through satellite. Deforestation revealed these areas which offered proof of ancient human activity thanks to the earth platforms, earthworks, and sunken roads. It suddenly became crystal clear that people once lived there.
People once roamed the Amazon rainforests
After identifying the settlements, de Souza and his team checked 24 of them. They discovered archaeological sites full of ceramic fragments, fertile earth and stone axes. Those represented even more proof of human presence in the area. One of those sites, Boa Vista,contains a number of 11 earth mounds and a ditch. However, the settlements once were probably full of houses surrounding a central square. The people were also probably growing trees for fruits and beautiful gardens.
Some of the roads in the area most probably connected the villages. According to De Souza, there may be hundreds of undiscovered such settlements in the Amazon rainforest. Communities were thriving there before the Europeans arrived and changed everything forever.
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