In the depths of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, a groundbreaking revelation challenges prevailing Eurocentric ideas about civilization. Using LiDAR technology, a remote sensing method employing light to gauge distances, archaeologists have uncovered an ancient city in the Upano Valley. This urban landscape, featuring interconnected houses, plazas, roads, and canals, spans over 300 square kilometers. More than 6,000 raised earthen platforms hint at the existence of wooden structures that once adorned this sophisticated settlement.
Dating back 3,000 to 1,500 years, the city defies stereotypes of small, primitive Amazonian groups. Professor Stephen Rostain, heading the investigation at the National Centre for Scientific Research in France, emphasizes the transformative nature of this discovery, challenging existing views and spotlighting the intricate urban settings where ancient societies thrived.
Co-author Antoine Dorison underscores the remarkable longevity of this urban center, with inhabitants dwelling there for up to 1,000 years. This temporal depth adds a new layer to our understanding of Amazonian history, revealing a chapter that extends well beyond transient settlements. The 2015 LiDAR survey provides a detailed glimpse into the city’s layout, marking a pivotal moment in reshaping perceptions of pre-Columbian civilizations in the Amazon rainforest.
In essence, this revelation stands as a testament to the sophistication and endurance of ancient Amazonian societies. It prompts a reevaluation of historical narratives that often overlooked the complexity of civilizations within the lush greenery of the rainforest. The interconnectedness, advanced infrastructure, and enduring habitation of this unearthed city highlight the richness of human history in a region whose cultural and historical significance has long been underestimated.