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Ancient ruins in the jungle. Source: ana / Adobe Stock.

How Lost Cities of the Amazon were Finally Found (Video)


In the early 1900s, British explorer Percy Fawcett embarked on a mission to find the fabled city of "Z" deep within the Amazon rainforest. Despite his efforts, he returned empty-handed, leading experts to believe that the rainforest was too hostile and remote to support ancient cities. This was despite the fact that earlier European colonizers had encountered advanced civilizations like Tenochtitlan and Cusco, fueling legends of El Dorado—a city of gold hidden in the Amazon. While failed expeditions reported sightings of potential settlements, Fawcett overlooked crucial signs. However, recent discoveries have challenged this notion.  In the 1960s, scientists discovered fertile "terra preta" soil, rich in nutrients, indicating large-scale agriculture. Collaborating with indigenous communities, archaeologists identified intricate networks of ditches, walls, and roads—remnants of ancient settlements designed to coexist with the rainforest.

Recent findings confirm a network of lost cities in the Amazon. Trench networks dating back to 200-1200 AD suggest settlements supporting up to 60,000 people. Satellite technology unveiled remnants of U-shaped buildings atop pyramids in Bolivia. These discoveries reveal the coexistence of humans and the rainforest, transforming our understanding of the region's history. The lost cities of the Amazon stand as testaments to thriving ancient civilizations that once flourished in this lush landscape.

Top image: Ancient ruins in the jungle. Source: ana / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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