Carvings in Land Attest to Amazon’s Lost World

The earliest explorers of the Amazon recorded that it was filled with villages and towns. After European diseases swept the area and wiped out its inhabitants, the jungle regrew and hid all evidence of these civilizations. Later explorers would find no evidence of such civilizations and the archaeological community, in all their brilliance and wisdom, decided they never existed and were simply the product of the overactive imaginations of the early explorers. In typical academic fashion, they then went on to create theories of why no such civilizations could have existed based on the low quality of the soils. The theories became established dogma and anyone who suggested the early eyewitness accounts might be true were considered fringe, nutty Atlantis seekers. Yet the latest research verifies the accuracy of the early eyewitness accounts and once more exposes the flaws and blind adherence to dogma of modern academia. Read the New York Times story below about the discovery of geoglyphs discovered in “pristine” jungle:

RIO BRANCO, Brazil — Edmar Araújo still remembers the awe. As he cleared trees on his family’s 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. Araújo’s land and hundreds like them nearby are much, much older — potentially upending the conventional understanding of the world’s 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.

For some scholars of human history in Amazonia, the geoglyphs in the Brazilian state of Acre and other archaeological sites suggest that the forests of the western Amazon, previously considered uninhabitable for sophisticated societies partly because of the quality of their soils, may not have been as “Edenic” as some environmentalists contend.

Instead of being pristine forests, barely inhabited by people, parts of the Amazon may have been home for centuries to large populations numbering well into the thousands and living in dozens of towns connected by road networks, explains the American writer Charles C. Mann.

Read the full story at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/world/americas/land-carvings-attest-to-amazons-lost-world.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=world

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