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L'Eldorado retrouvée ?
« le: 09 février 2010 à 21:24:15 »

El Dorado? Lost city found using Google Earth

Scientists uncover evidence of a lost city -- possibly that of the legendary El Dorado -- using aerial images taken by Google Earth.

By Stephanie Rogers
Tue, Jan 19 2010 at 11:37 AM EST

IN SEARCH OF: Explorer Percy Fawcett and the route of his journey in search of El Dorado, the area in which massive earthworks have now been found using Google Earth. (Photos: Wikimedia Commons)
Is it possible that the lost city of El Dorado has been found — using Google Earth? Some scientists believe it’s a strong possibility after researchers discovered more than 200 massive earthworks in the upper Amazon basin near Brazil’s border with Bolivia, according to The Sunday Times of London.

El Dorado, known as the legendary Lost City of Gold, has been sought unsuccessfully since the days of the Spanish conquistadors. It was the obsession of explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett, the real-life inspiration for Indiana Jones, who called it the City of Z.
Published in the journal Antiquity, the report shows shapes that seem to be the remains of bridges, roads, moats, avenues and squares dated between AD200 to 1283 that could once have been a civilization spanning 155,000 miles and supporting 60,000 people.
The notoriously eccentric Fawcett spent his life searching for the city, disappearing in 1925 on his second and final mission to prove that the City of Z indeed existed.
For modern-day explorers who still hold on to the romantic centuries-old belief that the deepest reaches of the Amazon held a mysterious and amazing city of gold, Google Earth has provided tangible evidence that precludes the need to risk life and limb in the jungle.
Not everyone takes the findings seriously. John Hemming, former director of the Royal Geographical Society and author of the book The Search for El Dorado, told the Times Online that he believes “none of this has anything remotely to do with El Dorado or that racist, incompetent nutter Percy Fawcett.”
El Dorado or not, the earthworks hint at a sophisticated civilization that many historians didn’t previously believe possible.
“For centuries, scientists assumed the jungle was simply a death trap, a ‘counterfeit paradise’ where only small, primitive, nomadic tribes existed,” said David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z.
“These discoveries show the Amazon was, in fact, home to a large civilization that pre-dated the Incas and built an extraordinarily sophisticated society with monumental earthworks.”

'Astonishing' Ancient Amazon Civilization Discovery Detailed
By Rossella Lorenzi | Fri Jan 15, 2010 03:50 PM ET

Recently, new satellite imagery detected a hidden kingdom in the Amazon that had eluded explorers for nearly 500 years.

An aerial picture of traces of earthworks built by a lost Amazonian civilisation.
Denise Schaan

Some called it El Dorado, others, like Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett (a British version of Indiana Jones) cryptically named it the "City of Z."

The jungle swallowed them all, and no evidence has ever been produced that such a place existed.

Now the satellite imagery of deforested sections of the upper Amazon Basin revealed more than 200 geometric earthworks.

Sculpted from the clay rich soils of Amazonia as perfect circles and squares, these structured earth mounds, or "geoglyphs," are located on the east side of the Andes and span a distance of 155 miles.

Built long before Christopher Columbus set foot in the new world -- the sites date from 200 to 1283 A.D.-- the earthworks are the remains of roads, bridges and squares that formed the basis for a lost civilization, according to a study published in the journal Antiquity.

Denise Schaan, co-author of the study and anthropologist at the Federal University of Pará, in Belém, Brazil, tells Discovery News about this intriguing finding.

Denise Schaan: The geoglyphs are an astonishing discovery. They do not represent the ancient city full of gold long sought by the early explorers of the Amazon, but they are indeed an El Dorado to archaelogists: they are the vestiges of a sophisticated pre-Columbian monument-building society.

According to Schaan and colleagues Martti Parssinen from the University of Helsinki and Alceu Ranzi from the Federal University of Acre, Rio Branco, Brazil, the structures are formed by ditches about 36 feet wide and several feet deep, lined by earthen banks up to 3 feet high.

Denise Schaan: We are talking of enourmous structures, with diameters ranging from 100 to 300 meters, connected by straight orthogonal roads. They are strategically located  on plateaux tops above the river valleys. Their builders took advantage of the natural topography in order to construct spaces that were full of symbolic meaning.

But who built the structures and what functions they had remains unclear.

Denise Schaan: They were probably villages, ceremonial centers, gathering places and point to a society of a complex nature. Indeed, to build these structures you need organization, planning, and large labor force. Amazingly, this suggest that quite substantial population was living in an area long believed to be too harsh to sustain permanent settlements.

Schaan and colleagues estimated at least 300 people would be needed to build a geoglyph. This points to a regional population of around 60,000 people, which was then wiped out by diseases brought by European conquistadores in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Denise Schaan: We were used to find vestiges of large populations along the main rivers, in the Amazon floodplain. Now we see that the interfluvies were also highly populated. We are finding new structures every week, and I got the impression this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The researchers believe that the sites already found make up only 10 percent of what is actually there.

Denise Schaan:

Google Earth enables an archaeological find, but what has it done lately?
Archaeologists study signs of ancient civilization in Amazon basin
Amazon revolution? Researchers unearth lost cities

« Modifié: 09 février 2010 à 23:36:11 par dificultnspa »
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Re : L'Eldorado retrouvée ?
« Réponse #1 le: 10 février 2010 à 22:03:28 »

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Sans elle pas de survie possible.