A new study has suggested that around 700 years ago when Amazonians laid out their villages, they did so in a clock face pattern that represented the cosmos.
Experts (led by the University of Exeter) used LiDAR technology on helicopters to study the rainforest-covered landscape in Acre State, Brazil. They were able to discover 35 villages with circular mounds that were linked with radiating minor and major straight-lying roads. The villages date back to between 1300 and 1700 AD.
The villages had anywhere between 3 and 32 mounds with diameters that ranged between 131 and 502 feet with enclosed plazas in the center that measured between 0.3 and 4.4 acres. Additionally, the scans “revealed that some small groups of villages positioned along streams exhibit regular distances of 2.5–3 km [1.6–1.9 miles] and 5–6 km [3.1–3.7 miles] between sites.”
Each village contained straight, sunken roads with high banks that protruded out from the center area. They also had wider and deeper main roads in addition to the smaller minor roads that linked the villages over an area of numerous miles.
That certainly proved how well organized the ancient Acreans were in laying out their villages. According to a new study, the fact that these ancient villages were laid out in a circular pattern may have been a reference to space and how the constellations moved around the planet. This provided experts with more information regarding the Indigenous communities that occupied the area.
Jose Iriarte, who is an archaeologist with the University of Exeter and an author of the paper, described this further, “LiDAR has allowed us to detect these villages, and their features such as roads, which wasn’t possible before because most are not visible within the best satellite data available.” “The technology helps to show diverse and complex construction history of this part of the Amazon.” “LiDAR provides a new opportunity to locate and document earthen sites in forested parts of Amazonia characterized by dense vegetation.”
While this study is now finished, experts are now hoping to located more villages that are hidden within the rainforest. Their study was published in the Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology where it can be read in full.
LiDAR images of the villages provided by the University of Exeter can be seen here.