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Press Release 12-114

Scientists Reconstruct Pre-Columbian Human Effects on the Amazon Basin

Findings overturn idea that the Amazon had large populations of humans that transformed the landscape

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Photo of long boats anchored along the shoreline of a river in the Peruvian Amazon.

Scientists travel along rivers in the Peruvian Amazon to look at environmental change.

Credit: Crystal McMichael


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Photo of a river bluff which is used as a sampling location, in the Peruvian Amazon.

Sampling location, seen from atop a river bluff in the Peruvian Amazon.

Credit: Crystal McMichael


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Photo of a scientist collecting a soil sample using an auger and another scientist taking notes.

Crystal McMichael and other scientists collect soils in the Peruvian Amazon.

Credit: Crystal McMichael


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Photo of Luiz Lobato preparing a vehicle for travel along the Porto Velho-Manaus transect.

Researcher Luiz Lobato prepares vehicles for travel along the Porto Velho-Manaus transect.

Credit: Crystal McMichael


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Photo of the Amazon River with rain forest on the far bank and clouds in the sky.

Scientists make their way along the Amazon River to sample soils along river bluffs.

Credit: Crystal McMichael


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Photo taken from a river bluff of the Madre de Rios River in Peru.

River bluff field research locations along the Madre de Dios River in Peru.

Credit: Crystal McMichael


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Cover of the June 15, 2012 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers' work is described in the June 15, 2012 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2012


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