May 25, 2022

Lost Cities of the Amazon Discovered From the Air

Researchers using LIDAR above the Bolivian Amazon have revealed details of the Casarabe Culture (500-1400 CE) showing urban centers, monumental platforms and pyramids. Raised causeways connected suburban settlements shaped by massive water control and distribution system with reservoirs and canals at  Llanos de Mojos. 600 miles of causeways and canals are identified, along with 26 sites including 11 newly discovered by LIDAR. Large centers are surrounded by rings of moats and ramparts aligned north-northwest.

The Casarabe culture disappeared at 1400 CE. Perhaps by way of widespread drought. The discovery of huge water reservoirs hint at that explanation.

Smithsonianmag has the detailed report here:

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