Ancient Ruins of 11 "Lost" Settlements Discovered Beneath the Amazon Jungle.

Jungle-penetrating lasers have peeked through the dense Amazonian rainforest to reveal the ruins of 11 previously unknown settlements decorated with vast pyramids and waterways.

As reported in the journal Nature today, scientists examined six areas within a 4,500 square kilometer (1,737 square mile) region of the Llanos de Mojos in the Bolivian Amazon using helicopter-mounted lidar imaging technology. In total, they discovered two new large settlement sites named Cotoca and Landívar, and 24 smaller sites – of which only 15 were previously known to exist. 

The settlements weren't merely a scattering of a few basic huts; it appears that some were once bustling communities with their own ceremonial architecture and complex water-management infrastructure composed of canals and reservoirs. Among these larger settlements of Cotoca and Landívar, the team even discovered vast platform mounds and cone-shaped pyramids measuring up to 22 meters (72 feet) tall. 

Their study indicates that the settlements date from approximately 500 CE to 1400 CE, when this portion of the Bolivian Amazon was home to the Casarabe culture.

It was once assumed that the Amazon rainforest was too wild and dense to support large-scale human settlements in pre-Columbian times. However, this idea has been widely challenged thanks to major discoveries in recent years revealing that the rainforest was once teeming with networks of complex settlements. 

Source: www.iflscience.com


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