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Seeking the Amazon's lost civilizations


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#1    UM-Bot

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:29 PM

How widespread were pre-Columbian civilizations within the world's largest rainforest ?

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The Amazon rainforest is one of the most difficult places for archaeologists to study, not only due to its sheer size but also because undertaking an expedition to the region can prove to be both expensive and perilous.

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#2    Calibeliever

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 07:03 PM

Very clever idea. Looking for these sites is like a needle in a haystack. Very difficult to try and find anything in this inhospitable region. Looking at soil patterns is brilliant and can hopefully narrow the search. I'm sure South America holds an untold number of new discoveries that can help link man's cultural migration to and from the Americas. There's little doubt in my mind that our current history books have more than a few holes in them.


#3    marcos anthony toledo

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 06:31 PM

The sad irony is if we hadn't screw up this technology might have help the world for the last five hundred years. Only our lust for gold and  arrogant ignorance and spreading diseases willy nelly prevented it.


#4    lightly

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 07:08 PM

It was assumed for a long time that the Amazon wasn't capable of supporting large populations.   But thanks to clear cutting and fires, a lot of evidence to the contrary is being uncovered and found. Interconnected  village systems for one ... I always wonder about earlier than known europeans  bringing  diseases to the new world  far earlier than known ... and greatly diminishing the larger populations...  leaving what was found by later explorers. Just a pet idea...  no evidence for it i suppose.



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Edited by lightly, 18 January 2014 - 07:09 PM.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#5    JGirl

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 07:16 PM

cool idea
i am astounded by the photo in the article. it's such an incredibly vast area!


#6    spud the mackem

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 11:07 PM

There are still undiscovered people in this region,who don't want to be discovered,a helicopter flew over part of the region last year and when it landed the pilot reported that arrows had been launched at it but he never saw the culprits,and there was two blowpipe darts in a tyre.

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#7    Bavarian Raven

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:59 AM

The books 1491 and 1493 go into detail about what is known about Amazonian civilizations pre and post European contact. They are well researched and well written and worth reading. Cheers.


#8    Hammerclaw

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 12:56 AM

The Pantanal region was densely populated. Flying over it you can see the remnants of a manmade landscape from horizon to horizon. It consists of hundreds of manmade heavily wooded mounds that once supported villages, as well as raised roads paralleled by canals connecting the villages and raised agricultural areas. Any one familiar with Southeast or Australasia, will realized that a tropical forest is no barrier to habitation or civilization. At that point in time, 1492, the America's tropics were just as densely populated as their Asian counterparts, that is, until the great dying.

Edited by hammerclaw, 27 January 2014 - 01:02 AM.


#9    Hammerclaw

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 01:23 AM

View Postlightly, on 18 January 2014 - 07:08 PM, said:

It was assumed for a long time that the Amazon wasn't capable of supporting large populations.   But thanks to clear cutting and fires, a lot of evidence to the contrary is being uncovered and found. Interconnected  village systems for one ... I always wonder about earlier than known europeans  bringing  diseases to the new world  far earlier than known ... and greatly diminishing the larger populations...  leaving what was found by later explorers. Just a pet idea...  no evidence for it i suppose.



   *
The deseases spread like wildfire, plague after plague after plague. At the time of first contact the total population of the Americas may have been a hundred million, by the end of the great dying, it had been reduced to, perhaps five to ten million--and that is an optimistic estimate. The first to sail down the Amazon saw it's civilizations. Twenty years later, the population had been decimated by European diseases, it's remnants scattered as the wandering tribes we know today, it's villages quickly overwhelmed and reclaimed by the jungle.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - Hamlet (1.5.167-8),

#10    lightly

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:10 AM

I would guess there's a good chance that the very first to sail down the Amazon  never came out alive  ?    But if captured.. sewed the seeds of destruction.
(Just imagining things that might have been)     In the past... population estimates  for the Americas were absurdly low .

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#11    Hammerclaw

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:00 PM

The river valleys of the Eastern United States were just as thickly populated. A trip down the Mississippi would have been similar to one down the Ganges in India. One would have encountered villiages and towns--many large enough to be called cities--around every bend and endless acres of cultivated fields. The remnants of these civilizations were encountered by settlers in the form of mounds and extensive earthworks, most long since plowed under or buried under our own cities. The population of North America in 1492 may have been as high as twenty million.

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#12    Emin

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 09:21 PM

Oh i'm sure the Amazon has lots of hidden secrets, many of which we might never even uncover.

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#13    simplybill

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 05:05 AM

Ever wonder why the Europeans weren't wiped out by diseases they picked up from the indigenous peoples? Why didn't it occur both ways?


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#14    redhen

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:43 PM

View Postsimplybill, on 16 February 2014 - 05:05 AM, said:

Ever wonder why the Europeans weren't wiped out by diseases they picked up from the indigenous peoples? Why didn't it occur both ways?

"Syphilis was indisputably present in the Americas before European contact. The dispute is over whether or not syphilis was also present elsewhere in the world at that time. One of the two primary hypotheses proposes that syphilis was carried from the Americas to Europe by the returning crewmen from Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas. The other hypothesis says that syphilis existed in Europe previously, but went unrecognized until shortly after Columbus' return. These are referred to as the Columbian and pre-Columbian hypotheses, respectively.The Columbian hypothesis is best supported by the available evidence"

http://en.wikipedia....yphilis#History


#15    PersonFromPorlock

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:57 AM

View Postsimplybill, on 16 February 2014 - 05:05 AM, said:

Ever wonder why the Europeans weren't wiped out by diseases they picked up from the indigenous peoples? Why didn't it occur both ways?

European diseases could spread among the American population, but American diseases killed their victims before they could return to Europe to spread them? And as the Americans died off, their diseases died off with them? Just guessing.





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