VIDEOS: Ancient Civilization in the Amazon

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E.P. Grondine

VIDEOS: Ancient Civilization in the Amazon

Post by E.P. Grondine » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:21 am

Archaeologists study signs of ancient civilization in Amazon basin

AS the discussion of Archaeo's post became one on deforestation, AGW pro and con, local climatic effects, and local geology; I am reposting Archaeo's original post.

Why?

Because no one here, and I mean no one, noted the similarities between these ceremonial structures and those of the "Hopewell". There was no discussion of their use, no discussion of their location within the Amazon Basin (and it is a big place, kind of like saying that remains were found on the Mississippi River, with no further statement), no discussion of their distribution, etc.

Finally, no one here, and I mean no one, considered that they may have been built by an arboreally based society, one with a food supply in which nuts and fruits from trees played a large role.

Feb 8, 2010,

Sao Paulo - Brazilian archaeologist Denise Schaan still does not believe in the legendary land El Dorado, although she and her team keep finding signs of an ancient and advanced civilization in the western Amazon basin. The signs point to a people that lived there more than a millennium ago in systematically built settlements with a sophisticated road network.

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/scien ... azon-basin


First Ranzi took photographs from a plane. Then the researchers systematically analyzed pictures from Google Earth. Once they had gone through all those images, the Brazilian government made available satellite photographs taken to document and monitor the progressive destruction of the Brazilian rain forest.......Schaan believes only a fraction of the geoglyphs have been discovered so far and that there are probably at least 1,000 more. 'Similar figures certainly exist in areas we haven't searched at all,' she said. The Brazilian researchers still have plenty of questions.....

VIDEOS:
Hundreds of Geoglifos Discovered in the Amazon
http://jqjacobs.net/archaeology/geoglyph.html
Last edited by E.P. Grondine on Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dannan14
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Re: VIDEOS: Ancient Civilization in the Amazon

Post by dannan14 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:17 pm

E.P. Grondine wrote:Finally, no one here, and I mean no one, considered that they may have been built by an arboreally based society, one with a food supply in which nuts and fruits from trees played a large role.
Didn't Mann cover that in 1491? i think he went so far as to suggest (or even had visited the area during the flood season) that the trees were "managed" like orchards with "canals" cut through the branches so during the flood season the orchards were navigable. Or am i mixing up two parts of the book?

E.P. Grondine

Re: VIDEOS: Ancient Civilization in the Amazon

Post by E.P. Grondine » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:53 pm

I don't know, since I have not read "1491". Perhaps someone else here has.

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Re: VIDEOS: Ancient Civilization in the Amazon

Post by Minimalist » Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:37 pm

As is being discussed in the HNS thread, I doubt that ancient peoples ignored any food source in their environment.

I suppose someone might say "Nuts, AGAIN?" But they might also say the same about any food they had to eat every day.


Besides, nuts and fruit are healthy foods although it is doubtful if they would have appreciated that fact.
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Re: VIDEOS: Ancient Civilization in the Amazon

Post by Digit » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:05 am

One of the things about their life style that amuses me is the oft reported view of it being a 'marginal existance'. If the population in a given area was of a suitable size it must have actually been a food rich life style.

Roy.
First people deny a thing, then they belittle it, then they say it was known all along! Von Humboldt

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Re: VIDEOS: Ancient Civilization in the Amazon

Post by Minimalist » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:53 am

Mann does a good job on this issue. Earliest European writers reported dense populations. When the second wave arrived they found desolation and concluded that the earlier writers were nuts.

Clearly, food supplies were more than adequate.


And probably, for the bulk of the populace, more varied than in Europe.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

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Re: VIDEOS: Ancient Civilization in the Amazon

Post by archaeo » Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:30 am

Good to see this repost. It is useful to stay on topic, or at least within this domain's topical relevance of whatever sub-theme evolves. To also diverge, I once lived at this latitude nearer the Andes and life is unimaginably easy where rains are adequate.

Not one word either about the amount of damage to the works, of mounds conservation of those not yet deforested, or of ethnobotanical study of undisturbed earthworks.

While the Hopewell are not the only ones to consider if one considers like earthworks elsewhere on the earth, there is far greater likelihood of contacts and cultural affinities with North America mounds. The Amazon mounds appear to have a distinct style. Where stone is not available, people are left with earthworks everywhere. A good case study is Britannia's earthen circle and stone circle distribution. The boundary is related to resources, not culture. There seems to be a cultural commonality, an as-yet-not-clearly-defined, likely archaic monument tradition, at work globally, but if this is an expression of same remains to be seen.

The monuments to leaders in China, north of Beijing, should also be compared with the Hopewell and the Acre region sites.

There are more placemarks here: http://jqjacobs.net/archaeo/sites/

For the China tombs go to 40.309, 116.2336

There are only so many ways to pile up dirt. The Woodlands of Eastern North America has most possible mound types, tons of effigies even, so mounds became geodetic art.

Oh yeah, and no mention of "Is it a book, writing, surveyed, gridded, random, far older ......?"

E.P. Grondine

Re: VIDEOS: Ancient Civilization in the Amazon

Post by E.P. Grondine » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:58 am

archaeo wrote:Good to see this repost. It is useful to stay on topic, or at least within this domain's topical relevance of whatever sub-theme evolves...
While the Hopewell are not the only ones to consider if one considers like earthworks elsewhere on the earth, there is far greater likelihood of contacts and cultural affinities with North America mounds. The Amazon mounds appear to have a distinct style.

Where stone is not available, people are left with earthworks everywhere. A good case study is Britannia's earthen circle and stone circle distribution. The boundary is related to resources, not culture. There seems to be a cultural commonality, an as-yet-not-clearly-defined, likely archaic monument tradition, at work globally, but if this is an expression of same remains to be seen.

The monuments to leaders in China, north of Beijing, should also be compared with the Hopewell and the Acre region sites.

There are more placemarks here: http://jqjacobs.net/archaeo/sites/

There are only so many ways to pile up dirt. The Woodlands of Eastern North America has most possible mound types, tons of effigies even, so mounds became geodetic art.

Oh yeah, and no mention of "Is it a book, writing, surveyed, gridded, random, far older ......?"
Hi archaeo,

As you point out, appearances can be deceiving, as there are only so many ways to pile up dirt, and to compare structures without rigorous dating, cultural, and physical evidence of direct contact is fraught will peril.

For example, sacbes like the Great Hopewell Road appear in Meso-america about mid 500's BCE. We don't know now if these had precedent in the Amazon Basin.

But for absolute dating of the migration north of the Formative stream of the Shawnee people ca 1350 BCE, see my book.

I had ascribed Shawnee circular astronomical works as evolutions of the far earlier Andaste (Adena) circular works, evolution and source for which again see my book.

But clearly, the Amazonian octagonal structures will cause a re-examination of their development.

E.P. Grondine

Re: VIDEOS: Ancient Civilization in the Amazon

Post by E.P. Grondine » Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:23 am

Digit wrote:One of the things about their life style that amuses me is the oft reported view of it being a 'marginal existance'. If the population in a given area was of a suitable size it must have actually been a food rich life style.

Roy.
What is interesting to me is that no one here has brought up John Hoope's work on early advanced Amazonian civilizations, nor the destructiopn of the lower Amazonian civilizations in the Rio Cuarto impacts.

I know of no similar structures in Yuchi, Ocanachee, nor Savanah River sites, though the shell rings might qualify. Given B and D mt DNA in Shawnee populations, I would be looking for an ultimate palaeolithic south-east Asian source for the cultural trait, but who knows?

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Re: VIDEOS: Ancient Civilization in the Amazon

Post by archaeo » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:02 am

What I want to know is any of this going to be protected from disturbance and development? What did this civilization know about Amazon plants, medicines, psychoactive drugs, what were their cultigens, flowers, bees, fish, frogs, or whatever else, parrots, monkeys? What imprint remains, not just on the topography but on the living Amazon? There should be a search for an appropriate study area preserved.

Regarding cross-cultural comparisons, while they should be made irrespective of contact and diffusion issues, certainly in the Americas there should be no assumption of isolation of civilizations. Major archaeological cultural expressions like Hopewell are defined within the concept of a very large interaction sphere during the period. We also have bermed roads in Chaco Canyon.

When I examine this area in Google Earth, I note it is the same latitude as the Casma-Sechin civilization, but closest to the Andes of the Cuzco Region or even most-river-accessible towards the Lake Titicaca region. The major Inca-era Road from Titicaca goes through Mumani Canyon NE of Azangaro, north of Mumani (where I fished trout after looking down into the pools from the old road to pick the biggest fish). I'm not familiar with the major old roads from the Cuzco area into the jungle. There was communication and exchange between the Amazonian elevations and the mountain populations, especially light-weight products like coca and medicinal herbs, and they had beast of burden. What has not been shown is that this interaction sphere extended so far into the Amazonian River systems. Once digging is underway, the range of interaction may come into evidence.

This tip-of-the-iceberg discovery of a civilization points out how American prehistory is very much a great void of knowledge. This discovery's significance remains to be seen.

E.P. Grondine

Re: VIDEOS: Ancient Civilization in the Amazon

Post by E.P. Grondine » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:34 pm

archaeo wrote:What I want to know is any of this going to be protected from disturbance and development? What did this civilization know about Amazon plants, medicines, psychoactive drugs, what were their cultigens, flowers, bees, fish, frogs, or whatever else, parrots, monkeys? What imprint remains, not just on the topography but on the living Amazon? There should be a search for an appropriate study area preserved.
One would hope so, but it is more likely that an accidental discovery and other factors will determine the study area. The chances of a radar search are pretty low.
archaeo wrote: Regarding cross-cultural comparisons, while they should be made irrespective of contact and diffusion issues, certainly in the Americas there should be no assumption of isolation of civilizations. Major archaeological cultural expressions like Hopewell are defined within the concept of a very large interaction sphere during the period. We also have bermed roads in Chaco Canyon.
There also needs to be no assumptions made about the contacts between civilizations, unless they are made on very solid grounds. The same principle holds for identification of a culture with a surviving people.
archaeo wrote: When I examine this area in Google Earth, I note it is the same latitude as the Casma-Sechin civilization, but closest to the Andes of the Cuzco Region or even most-river-accessible towards the Lake Titicaca region. The major Inca-era Road from Titicaca goes through Mumani Canyon NE of Azangaro, north of Mumani (where I fished trout after looking down into the pools from the old road to pick the biggest fish). I'm not familiar with the major old roads from the Cuzco area into the jungle. There was communication and exchange between the Amazonian elevations and the mountain populations, especially light-weight products like coca and medicinal herbs, and they had beast of burden. What has not been shown is that this interaction sphere extended so far into the Amazonian River systems. Once digging is underway, the range of interaction may come into evidence.
We don't know the technology use to determine the direction of sacbe's. Those in Chaco Canyon are best explained by a direct spread of the technology from meso-america, rather than through "Hopewell" (Shawnee ancetsral) . The spread to meso-america was probably done by "Olmec" (idenitfied by some authorities as Zoque ancestral).

My earlier inference had been that transmission of this technology to the "Hopewell" peoples had come via that route, but obviously that inference needs to be re-examined. I have been wrong before, and I reserve the right to be wrong both now and in the future.

In other words, the data is final in any statement of fact.

I assume the inter-relationships between the upper Amazon and the Andean civilizations will become clearer with time.
archaeo wrote: This tip-of-the-iceberg discovery of a civilization points out how American prehistory is very much a great void of knowledge. This discovery's significance remains to be seen.
I hope no one here takes this personally, but I always blame the mistakes in my book "Man and Impact in the Americas" on the really pathetic state of anthropology in the Americas. For my survey of impacts I used what was available, and despite the intense earlier efforts of others working earlier in the usual situation of no money for archaeology or ethnography, a lot of it was pretty bad.

While the YD comet impacts are now gaining acceptance, mainly due to the crushing weight of the evidence, work on the Great Atlantic Impact Mega-Tsunami is still being suppressed, despite the data and the proto-historical accounts.

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RE: " the really pathetic state of anthropology in the Ameri

Post by archaeo » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:32 am

I must agree in many ways.

The big problem seems to be paradigmatic--assumptions based on out-dated European world-views about those 'pesky primitive pagans on the fringes of the civilized world' rather than considering their own culture on Contact a Dark Age being incapable of knowing what they encountered due to their prejudice and ignorance. Western anthropological and archaeological science seem to grudgingly change only long after contradictory facts are well-accepted, and then without fully incorporating the new facts. Those who have locked-in, published views also control journals and dampen new viewpoints.

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