As some of you might have heard, a site suspected of being a Chachopoya site was discovered east of the Andes in the western Amazon jungle back in 2007. I don’t know if it’s going to be excavated or not. The site has been called “Huaca La Penitenciaría”, or Penitentiary Ruins, so named because it looks like a fortress of stone. It is buried in deep jungle growth at an elevation of about 6000 feet. This means that archaeologists now have to consider the fact that the Chachapoya’s eastern boundary extended into the Amazon. Anyway, numerous structures have now been verified in the Amazon jungle and it is clear that this “jungle” wasn’t always so. Human beings have been “terraforming” it for centuries creating a very rich, black soil on top of the acidic rain forest soil.
Huaca La Penitenciaría
The “black soil” (terra preta) has been a mystery until recent years. Now, it has been learned, these people had an ingenious system of settled agriculture in which they enriched poor soil with charcoal and other materials by building dikes, water channels and artificial lakes. Then they harvested fish in those lakes. Pretty clever. Archaeologists now believe the Amazon area was host to a population as high as 5 million with “urbanity” ratings exceeding that of Ancient Rome. They essentially built an artificial archipelago. This civilization for which we still know so little extended from sea to shining sea, all the way across the Amazon. The finding of the “penitentiary” means that we now know that heavy stonework was employed in the Amazon. This is a sea-change in thinking as it means we can expect to see more of it.
I decided to grab some of the satellite data on where this “black soil” has been found and do some google searching in satellite images. I was hoping others could help me identify some new prospects. I’ll be writing a big piece on anthropology and archaeology about all of this and more pretty soon. But for now, I was just wondering if anyone knew about these places and what might be here (such as modern constructions).
You’ll notice a lot of circles and berms. These are the types of shapes seen before, called geoglyphs, which it has now been found represent raised earth mounds. Anyway, peruse and enjoy. The locations are in the file name, so click on the file and get the filename to find them on google.
This is very strange. The picture is taken from an angle, but when corrected, this raised Earth appears to take on the shape of an arrowhead. The pyramid/platform/whatever is at the bottom right. Oddly, the arrowhead points on an azimuth direct to Puma Punku (about 2.5 degrees), not far away. The figures are (reverse azimuth):
And the layout scheme at Puma Punku:
Compare this to the Chechapoya Penitentiary layout:
You might have noticed something odd. What are those cauldron, casket looking structures on the roof? Who knows. But check this out:
Unfortunately, the video quality degrades inline, but you can click on the image, then click on full size to get a better view. This is just east of the arrowhead, about a mile or so. Notice the odd roof structures. This site is very close to Puma Punku, and I will have much to say about masonry in my article on this subject. The masonry problem may have been solved in the Amazon jungle.
And much, much more. I’ve found stuff like this all over the Amazon. Archaeologists are now saying that there may be hundreds or even thousands of Earthworks in the Amazon that people have practically lived on for centuries and not noticed until now.