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"So it was odd to have a culture that would take advantage of different ecosystems and expand over such a large region." The first geometric shapes were spotted in 1999 but it is only now, as satellite imagery and felling reveal sites, that the scale of the settlements is becoming clear.Some anthropologists say the feat, requiring sophisticated engineering, canals and roads, rivals Egypt's pyramids.Now it seems the conquistadores who spoke of "cities that glistened in white" were telling the truth.
Many scientists saw the jungle as too harsh to sustain anything but small nomadic tribes."These revelations are exploding our perceptions of what the Americas really looked liked before the arrival of Christopher Columbus," said David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z, a book about an attempt in the 1920s to find signs of Amazonian civilizations."The discoveries are challenging long-held assumptions about the Amazon as a Hobbesian place where only small primitive tribes could ever have existed, and about the limits the environment placed on the rise of early civilisations." They are also vindicating, said Grann, Percy Fawcett, the explorer who partly inspired Conan Doyle's book The Lost World.The findings follow separate discoveries further south, in the Xingu region, of interconnected villages known as "garden cities".Dating between 8, they included houses, moats and palisades.Some seekers called it El Dorado, others the City of Z.But the jungle swallowed them and nothing was found, prompting the rest of the world to call it a myth.Researchers were especially surprised that earthworks in floodplains and uplands were of a similar style, suggesting they were all built by the same culture."In Amazonian archaeology you always have this idea that you find different peoples in different ecosystems," said Schaan.Each article on Timeless Myths takes a topic under the heading of God & Goddesses, Myths, Old Wives Tales, Superstitions or Urban Legends, and covers it in detail.The topic's explanation (what it is people believe about it or what history tells us about it), the origin behind it and, in some cases like the Urban Legends, discusses whether or not there is any truth to it.