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Ancient Site Discovered in Amazonian Forests, Called Lost Valley of Cities

Ancient site found in Amazon rainforests

Research was done for over 20 years on an ancient site located in the Amazon rainforests. It revealed a piece of evidence that showed that it was a large-scale hub of interconnected cities which are believed to be more than 2,500 years old.

On Thursday in the Journal Science, all the findings of this discovery were published. It also included the detailed researcher’s work which mapped the network of these settlements. This might be the earliest example of urbanism to be ever documented in the Amazon.

The site claimed as the “Lost Valley of Cities”

Stephen Rostain claimed it to be the lost valley of the cities. He is the first author of the study and is a director of France’s National Center for Scientific Research. He termed it to be just incredible.

At least 15 distinct settlements have been identified by the researchers. These settlements are all connected by a network of roads. These roads are of at least 10 to 20 kilometers. The largest road is supposed to be 10 meters at its widest.

More than 6,000 earthen platforms have been mapped at the Ecuadorian site. There are shreds of evidence of plazas, ceremonial buildings, and residents that have been built along the road system. They are surrounded by expansive, terraced fields and drainage ditches.

A complex urban layout has been described by the researchers which includes large-scale agricultural projects along with a flourishing population. It is expected that some 10,000 farmers resided in the city and the population might have been 15,000 to 30,000 at its peak.

It has been estimated that the site has been occupied from 500 BC to 3000 to 600 AD, which is estimated to be roughly 1,000 years. This period is associated with the Roman Empire in Europe. The population can be compared to Roman-ear London.

Dense and complex population speculated

The population seems to be extremely dense and complicated according to the University of Florida archaeologist Michael Heckenberger. The region has a class of its own as it is a very early one.

The Kilamope and Upano might have inhabited the site. These cultures have not been explored in detail. Jars, grindstones, burnt seeds, pits, and hearths have been discovered from the site. It has also been speculated that the people there ate maize and sweet potatoes and brewed a sweet beer called chicha.

Author Rostain discovered this site two decades ago and was the first archaeologist to do so. Improvements in light detection and ranging have led to piercing the dense canopy of the forest with more detail and are truly helpful for scientists.

Advancements in science made everything easier and more detailed

A landscape can be seen through the LIDAR mapping. It bears the evidence of human hands that date back thousands of years.

The Ica has been built with stones even though the Amazonian societies were not abundant in stone. They built spaces with mud according to archaeologist Jose Iriarte. According to him the discovery of these cities is just like another Mayan civilization. But the architecture, land use, and ceramics are completely different.

There have been numerous preconceptions about the Amazonian world and this research will help in revising those preconceptions. The immense diversity and complexity of the people residing there will be understood through this.


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