The journey of Francisco Orellana

 

Near Manaus there is a meeting of the two waters" where the blackwater Rio Negro flows into the whitewater (really it’s a muddy colour) Rio Amazon. Then they run alongside without mixing for miles.

 

This dark material colouring the water is now thought to be excavated by the river from banks that have eroded, containing centuries of burned charcoal material that was used to clear and cultivate the land along the riversides.

 

A mystery on the way to being solved regarding Orellana’s claim about the river banks having huge populations. Once thought to be a fiction, he told of many millions of people living along the Amazon River. Recent archaeological investigations have proven his claims to be accurate. Why they disappeared during the last 500 years, sadly was probably brought about by his journey along the river from Ecuador to the Atlantic, spreading diseases that the local populations had no defense for.

 

Another question: how could so many survive in such thick jungle?

The recently found answer was thousands of years of cultivation. There was no jungle along the Amazon shoreline and for a few miles inland. Farming and crop generation and careful soil management by using charcoal mixed with the topsoil, Terra Negro, which can be seen all along the banks of the Amazon, probably the reason for the colour of the Rio Negra, was the answer.

 

The Charcoal soil is very effective as a growth medium and is now being sold around the world as soil fertilizer.  

 

Did Millions of people live along the Amazon five hundred years ago.

 

If so how did they cultivate the jungle?

 

The journey of Francisco Orellana

 

Once thought to be a fiction, he told of many millions of people living along the Amazon River. Recent archaeological investigations have proven his claims to be accurate. Why they disappeared during the last 500 years, sadly was probably brought about by his journey along the river from Ecuador to the Atlantic, spreading diseases that the local populations had no defense for.

 

Another question: how could so many survive in such thick jungle?

The recently found answer was thousands of years of cultivation. There was no jungle along the Amazon shoreline and for a few miles inland. Farming and crop generation and careful soil management by using  charcoal mixed with the topsoil, Terra Negro, which can be seen all along the banks of the Amazon, probably the reason for the colour of the Rio Negra, was the answer.

 

The Rio Negra flows for miles right next to …………… river without mixing.

 

The Charcoal soil is very effective as a growth medium and is now being sold around the world as soil fertilizer.  

 

Conquistadors by Michael Wood

Orellanas Journey

 

South-American-History.com