11 Apr '12, 5am

Scientists unlock indigenous secret to sustainable agriculture in the Amazon's savannas

Scientists unlock indigenous secret to sustainable agriculture in the Amazon's savannas

Pre-Colombian Amazonians lived in sustainable 'urban' society (08/28/2008) Researchers have uncovered new evidence to support the controversial theory that parts of the Amazon were home to dense "urban" settlements prior to the arrival of Europeans in the 15th century. The study is published this Friday in the journal Science . Conducting archeological excavations and aerial imagery across a number of sites in the Upper Xingu region of the Brazilian Amazon, a team of researchers led by Michael Heckenberger found evidence of a grid-like pattern of 150-acre towns and smaller villages, connected by complex road networks and arranged around large plazas where public rituals would take place. The authors argue that the discoveries indicate parts of the Amazon supported "urban" societies based around agriculture, forest management, and fish farming. Ancient Amazon fires linked t...

Full article: http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0410-amazon_ag_pnas.html

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