Day 35 Airborne laser scanning in the jungle of the Amazon Basin

In the Amazon region, which has been badly neglected in archaeological research, advanced cultures about which very little is known existed in pre-Hispanic times. The DAI’s Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures has therefore been investigating settlement centres in the savanna region known as Llanos de Mojos in the Bolivian Amazon Basin in a project under way since 1999.

Digital terrain model of a ditch complex some 10 km east of Bella Vista on the north bank of the Río San Martín (Modell: DAI KAAK)

Thanks to funding from the German Research Foundation, airborne laser scanning surveys were carried out in the area around Bella Vista in 2011 for the first time in the history of archaeological research in the Amazon Basin. A ring-ditch enclosure was sighted near the village of Bella Vista and investigated more closely from 2007 to 2015. Excavation sections revealed that the site was in use for just a short time (13th/14th century) and then abandoned.

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