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Seeking the Amazon's lost civilizations

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

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.

Read More: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/260911/seeking-the-amazons-lost-civilizations

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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.

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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.

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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.

*

Edited by lightly
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cool idea

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

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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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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.

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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
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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.
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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 .

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

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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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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

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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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Why don't we just leave these people alone and try to protect their habitat?

That's a simple question, but I expect that the answers, such as they will be, will be complex.

Edited by Likely Guy

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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.

Exactly! What part of "Get off my lawn!", do people not understand?

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Exactly! What part of "Get off my lawn!", do people not understand?

Poor people in developing countries have fewer alternative for earning money than relatively wealthy people in First World countries. If you're a poor Brazilian and the next lot of Amazon forest is a potential source of reliable income for you, why wouldn't you try to elbow the natives off their land?

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Poor people in developing countries have fewer alternative for earning money than relatively wealthy people in First World countries. If you're a poor Brazilian and the next lot of Amazon forest is a potential source of reliable income for you, why wouldn't you try to elbow the natives off their land?

Because that land isn't owned by poor people. It's 'owned' (I use the term loosely) by lumber barons and cattle kings.

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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?

From:nativeamericannetroots.net

First, Indians had better diets and they were less likely to face starvation and hunger. The first Europeans to reach North America often commented on the large size of the Indians. American Indians were larger than the Europeans simply due to better diets and less starvation. Unlike the Europeans, Indian political leaders did not store their wealth but accumulated prestige by giving food to those in need. No one in an Indian village or an Indian band starved unless all did so.

Secondly, American Indian populations did not have many of the infectious diseases that were endemic in Europe. A number of reasons have been suggested for this lack of disease. Some scientists have suggested that Indian people came to this continent through the cold, harsh climate of the north and that this acted as a germ filter which screened out infectious diseases. Others have suggested that Indians were disease-free because of the lack of domesticated animals. Measles, smallpox, and influenza are among the diseases which are closely associated with domesticated animals. Lacking the large domesticated animals, there were comparatively few opportunities in this hemisphere for cross-species infection.

Edited by hammerclaw
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From:nativeamericannetroots.net

First, Indians had better diets and they were less likely to face starvation and hunger. The first Europeans to reach North America often commented on the large size of the Indians. American Indians were larger than the Europeans simply due to better diets and less starvation. Unlike the Europeans, Indian political leaders did not store their wealth but accumulated prestige by giving food to those in need. No one in an Indian village or an Indian band starved unless all did so.

Secondly, American Indian populations did not have many of the infectious diseases that were endemic in Europe. A number of reasons have been suggested for this lack of disease. Some scientists have suggested that Indian people came to this continent through the cold, harsh climate of the north and that this acted as a germ filter which screened out infectious diseases. Others have suggested that Indians were disease-free because of the lack of domesticated animals. Measles, smallpox, and influenza are among the diseases which are closely associated with domesticated animals. Lacking the large domesticated animals, there were comparatively few opportunities in this hemisphere for cross-species infection.

Never heard that theory. Good stuff.

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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?

According to my anthropology professor, the people in the Americas had much less sickness than Europeans! They were considerably healthier, because they did not have large domesticated livestock. The Europeans lived in close contact with flocks of sheep, herds of cow and oxen, pigs, etc. Animals are a great way to spread disease, especially when they poop everywhere- usually near the villages, since they were so important people liked to keep their animals close.

There were plenty of downsides of having no large domesticated animals in the Americas, but it did make it less likely they got sick, or that new diseases sprung up (less animal to human germ sharing)

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Why don't we just leave these people alone and try to protect their habitat?

That's a simple question, but I expect that the answers, such as they will be, will be complex.

Why? The answer is simple; population pressure and greed.
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Why don't we just leave these people alone and try to protect their habitat?

That's a simple question, but I expect that the answers, such as they will be, will be complex.

Who's "WE"?

Just curious. Am I part of "we"? Is the total population of Asia, Africa, North America, Europe and Australia part of this we? Certainly other people of South America is part of this we.

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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.

I don't think that this story mean that the people were undiscovered.

I'm sure that couple small tribes of people are in the Amazon trying to stay secluded from other tribes who are in more contact with more advanced people.

I'm not sure that the word "undiscovered" applies as much. Maybe they can find another of Krippendorf's Tribe. But I think that was supposed to be in New Guinnea.

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