Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Team finds more traces of lost Amazon civilization

civilization1.jpgA well-known Japanese archaeologist said Tuesday a team he is leading has found further evidence of a little-known ancient civilization in the Bolivian Amazon. Katsuyoshi Sanematsu, a professor of anthropology at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, completed an excavation in August of a massive man-made mound, or "loma," in Bolivia's northeastern Beni state.

Such mounds mark settlements of the Mojos civilization, which is thought to have flourished in the Amazon region for thousands of years before the arrival of the Spanish.

... The four-week excavation confirmed that the mound, called Loma Chocolatalito, is full of pottery and animal bones. "There were over 10,000 fragments of pottery unearthed from the top 100-cm layer of just one of the units," he said, referring to a sectional cut from the loma. "Also we discovered numerous animal bones, some of which had been worked and painted. All this suggests that this place was densely populated in ancient times."

Among the most interesting objects are a fish hook made of animal bone and a pottery fragment with a carved design that Sanematsu believes may be a map. - japantimes

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