Amazon is a hoard of nature’s richness, and researchers recently discovered a massive ancient urban landscape having villages, towns, campsites, and monumental centers of South America’s Pre-Columbian Casarabe culture that was lost in time.
This Pre-Columbian Casarabe civilization lived more than 600 years ago in the part of the impenetrable Amazon that is now Bolivia.
This ancient urban sprawl had an urban system that included canals, reservoirs, and straight raised causeways that stretched several kilometers.
Since this part of the rainforest was impenetrable for any excavating expedition, the researchers used the latest technology called Light Detection and Ranging, or Lidar for short to map this ancient urban sprawl that was blanketed by the Amazon’s lush and dense green.
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The researchers who were conducting ground surveys to find anything related to ancient civilizations mounted Lidar onto a helicopter and fired laser pulses at the Amazon’s dense stretch below.
The reflected laser pulse of Lidar gave scientists the data they were hoping to find. This Lidar finding revealed that the settlement was of low density from the pre-Columbian era.
“Such low-density urban sprawl from pre-Columbian times was previously unknown in the Amazon or anywhere else in South America,” said archeologist Heiko Prümers of the German Archeological Institute in Bonn.
Evidence from the Lidar images revealed that, unlike other civilizations that built huge cities densely packed with people, the Casarabe population was spread and distributed in a network of small to mid-sized settlements with massive open space for agriculture.
The study also found that the Casarabe hunters, maize farmers, and fishers inhabited an area of 4500 square kilometers. The team conducted Lidar surveys in over 6 different territories and found 24 sites out of which 11 were previously unknown.
However, the researchers stated that much about the Casarabe civilization still remains a mystery as their sites remain unreachable.
Archeologist John Walker stated that their culture started disappearing once the Spanish arrived, mainly of diseases, forced labor, and slavery.