What Ancient Civilization Lived in the Amazon?

The Amazon rainforest is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, covering an area of over 6 million square kilometers. It is home to countless indigenous communities, many of whom have lived there for thousands of years. But did you know that there was once a thriving civilization that lived in the heart of the Amazon?

Introduction to the Ancient Civilization

The civilization, known as the “Amazonian Geoglyphs,” was discovered in the 1980s by researchers flying over the region. From above, they observed massive geometric shapes etched into the landscape. These shapes were made up of trenches filled with earth and stones, forming walls that could be over 30 meters wide and 3 meters high.

Location and Age

The geoglyphs are located in Acre, a state in western Brazil near the border with Peru. The structures are estimated to be between 1,000 and 2,000 years old, making them one of the oldest man-made structures in the Amazon.

Size and Scope

The geoglyphs cover an area of over 13,000 square kilometers and consist of hundreds of individual shapes. The largest shapes are over a kilometer across and take up more than 100 hectares each.

Purpose and Interpretation

Researchers are still unsure about what purpose these structures served. Some speculate that they were used for astronomical observation or as part of religious ceremonies. Others believe that they may have been used as defensive fortifications or even as a way to manage water resources.

Cultural Significance

Regardless of their original purpose, these structures provide valuable insights into an ancient civilization that once flourished deep within the Amazon rainforest. They remind us that there is still much we don’t know about this vast ecosystem and its rich history.


In conclusion, the Amazonian Geoglyphs are a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the people who lived in the Amazon long before Europeans arrived. While much of their culture and way of life has been lost to time, these structures remind us that they were once a thriving civilization with their own unique customs and practices. The discovery of the geoglyphs underscores the importance of preserving both the natural environment and cultural heritage of this amazing region.