Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Searching for the Amazon's Hidden Civilizations
Science Magazine ^ | 1-7-2014 | Crystal McMichael

Posted on 01/13/2014 3:40:59 PM PST by Renfield

Look around the Amazon rainforest today and it’s hard to imagine it filled with people. But in recent decades, archaeologists have started to find evidence that before Columbus’s arrival, the region was dotted with towns and perhaps even cities. The extent of human settlement in the Amazon remains hotly debated, partly because huge swaths of the 6-million-square-kilometer rainforest remain unstudied by archaeologists. Now, researchers have built a model predicting where signs of pre-Columbian agriculture are most likely to be found, a tool they hope will help guide future archaeological work in the region.

In many ways, archaeology in the Amazon is still in its infancy. Not only is it difficult to mount large-scale excavations in the middle of a tropical rainforest, but until recently, archaeologists assumed there wasn’t much to find. Amazonian soil is notoriously poor quality—all the nutrients are immediately sucked up by the rainforest’s astounding biodiversity—so for many years, scientists believed that the kind of large-scale farming needed to support cities was impossible in the region. Discoveries of gigantic earthworks and ancient roads, however, hint that densely populated and long-lasting population hubs once existed in the Amazon. Their agricultural secret? Pre-Columbian Amazonians enriched the soil themselves, creating what archaeologists call terra preta.

Terra preta—literally “black earth”—is soil that humans have enriched to have two to three times the nutrient content of the surrounding, poor-quality soil, explains Crystal McMichael, a paleoecologist at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Although there is no standard definition for terra preta, it tends to be darker than other Amazonian soils and to have charcoal and pre-Columbian pottery shards mixed in. Most of it was created 2500 to 500 years ago. Like the earthworks, terra preta is considered a sign that a particular area was occupied by humans in the pre-Columbian past....

(Excerpt) Read more at news.sciencemag.org ...


TOPICS: History; Science
KEYWORDS: amazonia; anthropology; archaeology; godsgravesglyphs

Big picture. A new model of the Amazon predicts that terra preta is more likely to be found along rivers in the eastern part of the rainforest. The letters indicate known archaeological sites.

1 posted on 01/13/2014 3:40:59 PM PST by Renfield
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Ping


2 posted on 01/13/2014 3:41:13 PM PST by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Renfield

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_de_Orellana

Read Buddy Levy’s bio of Francisco.

He found out the hard way that the Amazon river was full of cultures all the way to the sea.


3 posted on 01/13/2014 3:48:55 PM PST by Conan the Librarian (The Best in Life is to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and the Dewey Decimal System)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Renfield

I am fascinated by ancient cultures all over the world. How and why did so many build the same type buildings? What connection did they have? Why did so many build pyramids? Who did the huge figures in South America? It is amazing.


4 posted on 01/13/2014 3:53:27 PM PST by MamaB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MamaB

The lord Jesus just keeps bigger and bigger, many flocks, many mansions.
Smile...


5 posted on 01/13/2014 4:54:51 PM PST by aces
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Renfield
Charles C. Mann's book 1491 has some interesting material on lost civilizations of pre-Columbian Bolivia, only rediscovered in the last few decades.
6 posted on 01/13/2014 4:56:34 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...
Thanks Renfield!

7 posted on 01/13/2014 5:01:56 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Conan the Librarian
Orellana was an interesting man, to say the least. He was a linguistic genius who kept an evolving dictionary of all the native tongues he encountered beginning with his departure from Peru with one of the Pizzaro brothers. By the time he started down the Amazon, he already had a working knowledge of most of the dialects he encountered. At one point, deep within the Amazon basin, he put ashore to replenish his supplies and build a second ship. With amazing speed and aptitude, he picked up enough of the native language to speak with the local chief and obtain permission to stay long enough for the work to be completed. He and his men then set up a forge, and began turning horseshoes into nails and fittings for their new ship. In the meantime, word spread of these strange white men with odd habits and the ability to work iron, and delegations from other tribes came from all over the Amazon to see for themselves. Orellana wrote of the wide ethnic diversity of those who came to visit, with some being tall and fair skinned and remarkably civilized. Orellana and his men stayed for a month and then shoved off.

It was more than a generation before anyone else came down the Amazon, but they found almost nothing where Orellana had remarked on the astonishing variety of cultures he passed by. Disease had wiped them out, and I think even today we have no idea what existed there. River of Darkness

8 posted on 01/13/2014 6:08:06 PM PST by PUGACHEV
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: MamaB
Why did so many build pyramids?

A pyramid is a square version of a cone. Pour sand in one spot and you get a cone. It is naturally stable. This fact was not lost on ancient man. a pyramid is simply a more perfect version of a cone where the pile of stones are stable and will not topple.

9 posted on 01/13/2014 6:45:11 PM PST by LoneRangerMassachusetts (The meek shall not inherit the Earth)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

Ok. Makes sense but who and why were the huge figures made? I have seen explanations but did not like them. When I was a teen, I remember reading a Hardy Boys book that was about them but that was many decades ago. : ) I think it was about them.


10 posted on 01/13/2014 6:59:20 PM PST by MamaB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: MamaB
Ok. Makes sense but who and why were the huge figures made? I have seen explanations but did not like them. When I was a teen, I remember reading a Hardy Boys book that was about them but that was many decades ago. : ) I think it was about them.

Want to move a huge stone? Then watch this guy. You need to have QuickTime to see the video.

forgotton technology

11 posted on 01/13/2014 9:27:11 PM PST by LoneRangerMassachusetts (The meek shall not inherit the Earth)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus; MamaB; Renfield; All

Don’t forget to check out writings of Gloria Farley about the many traces of Europeans in North America dating back as far as 4,000 years ago. Probably the same in the Amazon, explaining the tall, pale, civilized people.


12 posted on 01/14/2014 12:48:55 AM PST by gleeaikin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: MamaB

They are the descendants of Noah and his sons.

THey all had a shared worldview and culture.

For more, search on YouTube for “Charles Clough”. He’s a US Army meteorologist and Dallas Theological Seminary trained pastor and teacher. Look for his “Bible Framework” series on the web, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA4tmhwatm4

http://www.bibleframework.com/


13 posted on 01/14/2014 7:44:59 AM PST by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

What do y’all think of the shows about aliens helping build things? Some people are really pushing that theory. No one knows for sure but I have my doubts. I also saw a few minutes about people who worshiped other gods helping to plan/build DC. People are pushing odd beliefs now.


14 posted on 01/14/2014 12:26:55 PM PST by MamaB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv; Renfield

Fascinating hints in recent years of a far more populous and sophisticated civilization in the Amazon. What a daunting task to dig there, though. Objects decay and are overgrown so quickly.


15 posted on 01/14/2014 4:03:37 PM PST by colorado tanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: MamaB
What do y’all think of the shows about aliens helping build things?

I know some 'aliens' helped my neighbors do some impressive landscaping awhile back. :-P

16 posted on 01/15/2014 2:46:16 AM PST by uglybiker (nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-BATMAN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: gleeaikin
Old Favotites:

In Plain Sight

Earlier Than You Think


17 posted on 01/15/2014 10:24:52 AM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Renfield
Rainforest Researchers Hit Paydirt (Farming 11K Years Ago in South America)
18 posted on 01/15/2014 10:27:41 AM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: uglybiker

Funny but I was talking about the kind that comes from space. : )


19 posted on 01/15/2014 5:56:50 PM PST by MamaB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson