The Nazca Lines in Peru currently are the most well know geoglyphs (large designs and motifs produced on the ground) in South America, but that is about to change. The deforestation of the Amazon is revealing hundreds of heretofore unknown geoglyphs. The images, which are mainly in the form of precisely constructed geometric shapes and lines, have been discovered in the Brazilian states of Acre, Amazonia and Rondônia, and in Bolivia. Scientists estimate they date from approximately 1000 to 2000 years ago. Their purpose remains a mystery. But their existence, along with other recent discoveries about the size and extent of human occupation of the Amazonian rainforest, is rewriting the history of the region and its indigenous peoples. It is unfortunate these amazing discoveries were made as a result of the massive destruction caused by agricultural and mining interests. But as more work is done to document the geoglyphs and to revise and increase our knowledge and understanding of South America’s human geography and history, perhaps new efforts will be made to preserve and protect the remaining rainforest for its indigenous peoples and the world.
Read the NYT article here: Land Carvings Attest to Amazon’s Lost World – NYTimes.com.