December 1, 2020

Ancient Amazonian Villages Laid Out Like a Clock Face

Ancient Amazonian villages laid out like a clock face have been discovered by experts, Remote sensing equipment mounted onto helicopters in south Acre State, Brazil is revealing an ancient landscape of mounded villages built between 1300 and 1700 AD.

The ancient Acreans had very specific social models for the way they organized their communitie to represent the Native American cosmos.

This is further evidence the rainforest has long-been occupied by indigenous communities, whose cultures rose, fell, transformed, and rose again, long before Europeans made an impact in the Americas. The research shows after the abandonment of the large geometrically patterned ceremonial earthworks.

Around AD 950, a new culture arose with communities living in mounded villages with highly defined concepts of social and architectural space.

The circular mound villages are connected across the wider landscape through paired sunken roads with high banks that radiate from the village circle like the marks of a clock or the rays of the sun. The villages have both minor roads and principal roads, which were deeper and wider with higher banks. Most villages have paired cardinally orientated principal roads, two leaving in a northward direction and two leaving in a southward direction. The survey reveals that the straight roads often connect one village to another, creating a network of communities over many kilometers.

Deforestation in the region had previously revealed the presence of large geoglyph earthworks on the landscape with archaeological research also documenting the presence of circular mound villages.

Over 35 villages and dozens of roads were documented in the research with many more predicted to still be hidden below the unexplored jungle. The villages were composed of three to 32 mounds arranged in a circle, the diameter of which ranged from 40 m to 153 m with the area enclosed.

The findings are published in a paper in the Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology. has the story here: has a report here with a video and photos

And the Smithsonian has more here;

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