Large thriving network of settlements thrived in Columbian Amazon before European settlers

Both the Amazon and the Congo have been given the status of totally virgin rainforest, without any human impact. What is becoming increasingly clear is that this is not the case.

Instead it is the case, that the communities which lived here -sometimes in large numbers, lived in balance with the environment.

Pre Columbian settlement evidence in the Amazon

Archaeologists have found vast network of settlements in the Columbian Amazon, spanning hundreds or even thousands of square km, consisting of a main settlement with huge platforms, and smaller settlements spread out around. All are linked by causeways, and canals and reservoirs dotted the land to make agriculture possible.

To be sure, these settlements were low density, but they successfully lived in harmony with the rainforest for centuries.

Oddly, while these communities prospered for 1000 years, they disappeared before Columbus arrived, and it is not clear why.

How should this impact work these days? I am not sure. There are no large groups of modern people who have learnt to live in harmony with their environment, but clearly bush people have. Perhaps we need to follow their example – though the current indigenous people of the Amazon do not live in settlements of large size, otherwise we would have know about these centuries ago,

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