From National Geographic: Ancient Urban Network Mapped in Amazon Forests.
Dozens of densely packed, pre-Columbian towns, villages, and hamlets arranged in an organized pattern have been mapped in the Brazilian Amazon, anthropologists announced today.
The finding suggests that vast swathes of "pristine" rain forest may actually have been sophisticated urban landscapes prior to the arrival of European colonists.
"It is very different from what we might expect using certain classic models of urbanism," noted study co-author Michael Heckenberger, an anthropologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Nevertheless, he said, the repeated patterns within and among settlements across the landscape suggest a highly ordered and planned society on par with any medieval European town. [continue]