The latest in technology has yet again aided in some novel findings. It is indeed amazing that almost hundreds of primitive earthworks similar to the Stonehenge have been found fabricated in the Amazon rainforest. The flying drones over this area helped in this intriguing discovery.
What do these findings indicate?
The findings indicate that the prehistoric settlers in Brazil fabricated magnanimous enclosures when clearing large wooded areas. It also brings to the implication that the ‘pristine’ rainforest is relatively new.
The enclosures in Acre State in the Western Brazilian Amazon have been concealed for centuries by trees. However, the modern deforestation enables 450 to come out of the thicket.
- It is these earthworks which are known as geoglyphs.
- The geoglyphs date from the year zero.
Who has the research been attributed to?
Jennifer Watling, post-doctoral, Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, University of Sao Paulo, is attributed to the research.
What could have been the function of these sites?
The function of these sites is not known. However, in consonance with Dr Watling they are very similar to the Neolithic causewayed enclosures. The latter were found at site, like Stonehenge, Wiltshire.
Dr Watling said-“It is likely that the geoglyphs were used for similar functions to the Neolithic causewayed enclosures, i.e. public gathering, ritual sites.”
The structure of the geoglyphs is similar to the henge sites. They have an outer ditch and an inner wall enclosure. In fact, the primitive phases at Stonehenge also inculcated a similarly layed out enclosure.
Some interesting facts:
– The Stonehenge is almost 2,500 years older than the geoglyphs found in Brazil; however, they represent a similar time slot considering the social development.
– The enclosures cannot symbolize the village border, because the archaeologist has not recovered many artifacts during the process of excavation or digging.
– Hence, the thought is that they have been used only occasionally as the gathering place for rituals.
– This is also indicative through the fact that they have no sort of defensive features like the post holes which could have been used for fences. In fact, the discovery has also managed to reverse the supposition that humans have never touched the rainforest ecosystem.
Dr Watling further says- “Our evidence that Amazonian forests have been managed by indigenous people long before European contact should not be cited as justification for the destructive, unsustainable land-use practiced today.”
“It should instead serve to highlight the ingenuity of past subsistence regimes that did not lead to forest degradation, and the importance of indigenous knowledge for finding more sustainable land-use alternatives”.
It is really amazing however, that using a plethora of methodologies; the team members of the group have been able to again fabricate 6000 years of vegetation. They have been able to pursue the same around 2 enclosure sites. This is when they found that the humans back then had altered the bamboo forests for millennia. And, it was the clearing which aided in constructing the geoglyphs.