South American Stonehenge Discovered in the Amazon

While razing trees to give grazing room for his cattle in October, Brazilian cattle rancher Lailson da Silva uncovered a strange arrangement of granite blocks in Amapá. An archaeological assessment of the site, discovered near the Equator and the Rego Grande, dates the structure to a point in time around one millennia ago.

 

While da Silva had been to the location while chasing game in his youth, back in the 1960s, he has since come to regard the site with veneration and has served as its custodian. The site, consisting of granite stones arranged in a circle, was found to contain burial urns and likely may have been used as a burial area; other assessments believe that one of the taller stones was used as a solar calendar. The theory that archeologists have narrowed down on is that Rego Grande is an area that was used for ceremonies dedicating to hunting and agriculture.

 

While Rego Grande’s status is still being debated, it has been marketed as the “Amazonian Stonehenge.” Recently, representatives of the Palikur, natives from Amapá and French Guiana, have stated that their ancestors were frequent inhabitants of the area. While compelling, the claims of these people are still being analyzed because of the ramifications involved in assessing the development of human societies over one-thousand years. Marian Cabral, one of the leading archeologists involved with the Rego Grande site, has commented that evidence pointing to large settlements is relatively sparse when compared to other archeological sites throughout the Amazon.

 

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