Skip to comments.Once Hidden by Forest, Carvings in Land Attest to Amazonís Lost World
Posted on 01/16/2012 9:06:28 AM PST by Theoria
Edmar Araújo still remembers the awe.
As he cleared trees on his familys land decades ago near Rio Branco, an outpost in the far western reaches of the Brazilian Amazon, a series of deep earthen avenues carved into the soil came into focus.
These lines were too perfect not to have been made by man, said Mr. Araújo, a 62-year-old cattleman. The only explanation I had was that they must have been trenches for the war against the Bolivians.
But these were no foxholes, at least not for any conflict waged here at the dawn of the 20th century. According to stunning archaeological discoveries here in recent years, the earthworks on Mr. Araújos land and hundreds like them nearby are much, much older potentially upending the conventional understanding of the worlds largest tropical rain forest.
The deforestation that has stripped the Amazon since the 1970s has also exposed a long-hidden secret lurking underneath thick rain forest: flawlessly designed geometric shapes spanning hundreds of yards in diameter.
Alceu Ranzi, a Brazilian scholar who helped discover the squares, octagons, circles, rectangles and ovals that make up the land carvings, said these geoglyphs found on deforested land were as significant as the famous Nazca lines, the enigmatic animal symbols visible from the air in southern Peru.
What impressed me the most about these geoglyphs was their geometric precision, and how they emerged from forest we had all been taught was untouched except by a few nomadic tribes, said Mr. Ranzi, a paleontologist who first saw the geoglyphs in the 1970s and, years later, surveyed them by plane.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Mann, Z, etc.
“If one wants to recreate pre-Columbian Amazonia, most of the forest needs to be removed, with many people and a managed, highly productive landscape replacing it, said William Woods, a geographer at the University of Kansas who is part of a team studying the Acre geoglyphs.
I know that this will not sit well with ardent environmentalists, Mr. Woods said, but what else can one say?
1493 and all that.
When my ancestors came to this county in 1889 there were NO TREES. Now much of it is covered by mesquite and other types of trees.
When they came it was all prairie grass. They broke out the grass covered land for the first time. There were no towns. There was no timber to build a home. They lived in Dugouts for a number of years. The little timber that was used in the construction was brought in by wagon.
They were a hardy and independent lot. They came here to be left alone and live their lives in peace. That is all we want today.
Mexican cattle poop planted the mesquite trees.
There is very little land in S. America that hasn’t been changed and molded by the hand of man for his own purposes.
Mann’s book 1491 referenced in the article is excellent. I recommend it.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks Theoria and esquirette.
Good luck with that. </Spongebob>
I'm calling BS on that one...
Well then - you guys would get a kick out of the “environmentalists” - “protecting” the natural state of areas in California.
They are desertified now - due to overlogging for the silver industry. What were pine forests are now desert.
And the left - passes laws - to keep it in its “natural state” of desert.
Stupid is as stupid does.
"The Spanish left a deep mark on Texas. Their European livestock caused mesquite to spread inland while farmers tilled and irrigated the land, changing the landscape forever."
That says it all. Just like fining the oil companies for not using a non-existent additive.
The cattle ate mesquite beans as they passed through Northern Mexico and crapped the beans out in South Texas after digesting the hull. The trees slowly spread throughout the state in this fashion all through the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries.
cattle poop, BS, uh...
It’s still BS, isn’t it?
(OK, only half, the other half is CS)...
I moved aboard a small cruising sailboat I picked up for a song just when the economy hit, and I’m glad I did. I’m a neo-viking in search of a fjord just far enough away that my nanny can no longer protect and serve me.
Those had to be made by aliens!
OK, now I get it. it’s Monday and my humor sense took a while to recoup from the weekend.......
*shrug* sometimes the explanation is funnier than the joke...
For some reason the stooge Larry comes to mind......
I envy you in a way. But I live in the middle of the “Big Nothing’ as the guys in Dallas call it.
Pretty isolated. That is good.
After killing off the buffalo, they killed off the Prairie Dogs, the mesquites began to take hold. Before that the prairie dogs chewed off each small young tree.
I am old enough to remember some large dog towns near by on Flat Top Mountain.
Was not too bad when there was a house on every 1/4 section. Plowed fields assured no Mesquites.
Now the homes are 4 miles apart. Many farmers work 1-3,000 acres. Some 10-12K acres.
The CRP land is gradually turning mesquite, which is hard to kill once established. Tree plowing ground is very expensive and leaves the ground very rough.
Back in 2003 my wife and I retraced the steps of Walter A. Wyckoff, a college professor who walked/worked his way across pre-auto America in 1892 as a social experiment. We tried taking pictures of all the places he mentioned (over 100 towns in 13 states). Every place where he spoke of "wide-ranging vistas" is now heavily forested.
I read somewhere that there are more forested areas and wild game now than when the settlers first came here. Disbeliever at first, after out two-month trip I could see that it could be true.
Professor Irwin Corey.
Cattle ranching has been credited with disrupting the grass hopper 'cycle' so much that they are no longer a threat.
I remember years when we had problems with grasshoppers destroying or damaging our crops. But, not many times. Certainly nothing like you described.
Thanks for the comment and the map.
Some of my ancestors encountered another plague about that time that forced them to go GTT.
They were literally burned out of AL during Reconstruction for resisting the abuses of the Carpet Baggers & consorts.
Many came to TX about then.
The oppression was attempted in TX, but it did not last long. Was not received well and those who tried paid a dear price for their attempt.
I thought the Mormons converted them...
And in N America. There are large parts of Eastern US that had forests composed of about 1/3 chestnut tree. The natives burned over the forests from time to time to clear out the underbrush and they selectively maintained the chestnuts and other useful trees. They were agricultural hunter-gatherers.
Ha! Well done.
Out of the 14 boys in my HS graduating class, 10 were farming by our senior year. At least 7-8 are still farming. Average farm size is 5-7 sections and most have family corporations that hold the equipment.