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Amazon Jungle Once a City of Millions who Created an Artificial Soil "Terra Preta" to Terraform

KingNaidKingNaid Member UncommonPosts: 334
edited August 10 in Off-Topic Discussion
"The team now thinks that between 500,000 and 1 million people once lived in just seven percent of the Amazon basin. That flies in the face of previous estimates that only about 2 million people lived in the entire Amazon basin.

The distribution of the potential sites suggests an interconnected, advanced series of fortified villages spanning over 1,100 miles that flourished between 1200 and 1500 A.D. “We need to re-evaluate the history of the Amazon,” said José Iriarte, archaeologist at the University of Exeter, National Geographic Explorer, and the paper’s primary author, in a press release.

So what happened to the rain forest-dwelling people? De Souza says they died out after the European conquest of the region. Disease and genocide wiped out entire villages, and many others abandoned agriculture altogether. “They had to be on the move constantly,” he says. But the traces they left behind mean there’s still more to learn about their now-vanished civilization."

"Researchers have found more than 60,000 hidden Maya ruins in Guatemala in a major archaeological breakthrough. Laser technology was used to survey digitally beneath the forest canopy, revealing houses, palaces, elevated highways, and defensive fortifications. The landscape, near already-known Maya cities, is thought to have been home to millions more people than other research had previously suggested. The researchers mapped over 810 square miles (2,100 sq km) in northern Peten."
Terra preta (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈtɛʁɐ ˈpɾetɐ], locally [ˈtɛha ˈpɾeta], literally "black soil" in Portuguese) is a type of very dark, fertile artificial (anthropogenic) soil found in the Amazon Basin. It is also known as "Amazonian dark earth" or "Indian black earth". In Portuguese its full name is terra preta do índio or terra preta de índio ("black soil of the Indian", "Indians' black earth"). Terra mulata ("mulatto earth") is lighter or brownish in color.

Homemade terra preta, with charcoal pieces indicated using white arrows
Terra preta owes its characteristic black color to its weathered charcoal content, and was made by adding a mixture of charcoal, bone, broken pottery, compost and manure to the otherwise relatively infertile Amazonian soil. A product of indigenous soil management and slash-and-char agriculture, the charcoal is stable and remains in the soil for thousands of years, binding and retaining minerals and nutrients.

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