Seems like they're finding all kinds of "lost" things in the rainforest these days. Think the ancient Amazon was untouched by human hands? Wrong. Turns out sections of the forest were downright urban. Scientists at the University of Florida have discovered a large network of towns that once supported upwards of 50,000 people in an area slightly smaller than New Jersey. They boasted roads, defense works, and advanced agriculture.
All kinds of fancypants tech went into finding the lost towns, including satellite imaging:
The red lines indicate old roads, while the black ones are ditches used for defensive purposes.
Downtown Amazon flourised from about 1,500 to 400 years ago, until these societies were wiped out by invading Europeans. The jungle gradually reclaimed the settlements, and they faded from memory. This is actually kind of good news, because it means the Amazon has recovered from large-scale deforestation before, and can do so again. We just need to stop cutting the darn thing down.