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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."