Native Village
Youth and Education news
Volume 1  March, 2011

Amazonian Indians More Advanced Than We Knew
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Bolivia: For decades, archaeologists thought Amazonian Indians were:   Lowly hunter-gatherers. Lived in widely scattered villages.  Barely made a living in the harsh landscape.

But a new study has changed many minds. Scientists have found a ancient system of monumental public works in eastern Bolivia. Satellite pictures which penetrated the thick jungle show:

Vast earthen mounds 25 - 30 feet high.
Nearly 600 miles of a network of canals and causeways.

All were all built centuries ago.

Scientists are especially impressed by the mounds. An average mound covered 50% more area than a football field. The largest were earthen hills topped by pyramid-like structures.  Some were higher than a 6-story building. They often stood in the center of a network of canals and causeways.

"They are amazing," says Umberto Lombardo of the University of Bern. "You get to this mound and start going up and up and up. ... You feel like you are in the mountains, the Alps."

Lombardo says these structures would be considered "huge work" if they were built today. The amount of dirt moved to build them could fill the Great Pyramid at Giza -- twice. Yet the mounds were built without metal tools, pack animals, or even the wheel. 

The neat patterns of mounds, canals and other features suggest that work was highly planned and well-organized. This suggests the area was densely populated and politically organized -- not the work of hunter-gathers.

"There's a certain amount of aesthetics and pride here," said Clark Erickson of the University of Pennsylvania. "These people ... expressed pride in the community in mounds that towered over the landscape."

The function of the mounds is still uncertain. While people lived on them, the mounds also had ritual or political importance.  Perhaps they held dance platforms or ball courts.

Most structures were in continual use from around 500 - 1400 A.D. The first Europeans arrived in the area in the 1600s.

The study will be published in the August edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science.


 Volume 1
On Day Dedicated to Native Americans, A Move to Honor Hopi Tribe's Code Talkers
New Office to Serve as Advocates for Tribal Veterans 
Metis Livid About Proposed Status System
Saying NO to $1 Billion Dollars
New Images of Remote Brazil Tribe
Amazonian Indians More Advanced Than We Knew
Australia's Aborigines to Launch Political Party
Irish Travellers to Shed Light on Indigenous Research

Volume 2
Berenstain Bears to Speak Lakota
Students Tell Saanich Myths Through Computer Animation  
Children's Book Exhibit Depicts Native Path to Diabetes Prevention
Mentoring Program Coming to Kodiak
100% Knights to Create Career Pathways for Aboriginal Students
Arizona Culinary School Recruits American Indians, Now Available for Federal Financial Aid
Book Lets Great Lakes American Indians Tell Their Own Story
Volume 3
UN Declares 2011 the "International Year of Forests"
Think the Super Bowl Battle was Big? Fight Over Conservation Funding Looms Larger
Limit Set for Native Polar Bear Hunters Under International Treaty
White House: Tribes Fare Well in 2012 Budget
Ziebach County South Dakota: America's Poorest County
Top 5 Obama Regulations that American Businesses Hate Most
The Top 11 Corporate Cash Hoarders
Volume 4
Donna Karan Collaborates With an Indigenous Artist as Part of "Nomad Two Worlds" Art Exhibit
Alligator Wrestling and the Men Who Do It
Custer Flag to Be Sold by DIA
Museums Work to Credit the Individuals Behind Native American Artwork
All My Relations Gallery Showcase for Native Art
Grammy Winner Helps Locals Build, Understand Flutes
German TV Crew Films Program About Nokota Horses

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