Anthropologists Find New Type of Urbanism in Amazon Jungles

Posted on August 28, 2008  Comments (0)

Anthropologists Find New Type of Urbanism in Amazon Jungles

Recently-discovered Amazonian settlements could be a new type of metropolis, unseen elsewhere in the world and hidden until recently in the Kuikuro jungle, say anthropologists.

Revealed by overgrown earthworks, the 100 square-mile urban units consist of clusters of interconnected villages ranging from 50-150 acres in size. The town-nodes were arranged along a highly-regular pattern of roads built around a central plaza about 500 feet across. The cities appear to have been at their height between the 13th and 17th centuries.

“No single Xingu settlement merits the term ‘city.’ But what do you do with a core of five settlements are few kilometers away from each other?” Michael Heckenberger, a University of Florida anthropologist currently in Brazil, told Science. “A fast walk from one to another would take you 15 minutes, maximum.”

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