This recent article from the BBC discusses a project that uses drones to laser-scan the amazon to detect anthropogenic landforms / earthworks, evidence of ancient civilizations in the Amazon – the most expansive wilderness area on earth was most likely once home to much larger populations then previously thought. Here are some excerpts from the original article, below:
Scientists are to scan the Amazon forest in Brazil to look for evidence of occupation by ancient civilizations.
A drone will be sent up with a laser instrument to peer through the canopy for earthworks that were constructed thousands of years ago.
The UK-led project is trying to determine how big these communities were, and to what degree they altered the landscape.
The data is likely to inform policies on sustainable forest use today.
The key quest is to try to understand the scale and activities of populations living in the late pre-Columbian period (the last 3,000 years before the Europeans arrived in the 1490s).
“While some researchers think that Amazonia was inhabited by small bands of hunter-gatherers and shifting cultivators who had a minimal impact on the environment, and that the forest we see today is pristine and untouched for thousands of years – mounting evidence is showing this may not be the case.
“This evidence suggests that Amazonia may have been inhabited by large, numerous, complex and hierarchical societies that had a major impact on the environment; what we call the ‘cultural parkland hypothesis’,” he told BBC News.
Read the full article here on BBC
Here is a link to additional, related news and articles posted on this website… You might also be interested in chinampas or the domesticated landscapes of los llanos de Moxos, or Agroforestry.