In the Orinoco, abundant carbonized maize was recovered from habitation sites and human bone stable carbon isotopes indicate high consumption levels (Roosevelt, 1997:196–209; Merwe et al., 1981). In Bolivia, a wide range of crops has been tentatively identified
at living sites, but maize is the most widespread, also (Dikau et al., 2012). In the future, human bones from the cemeteries in the Bolivian and Guianas sites can also be analyzed to establish the level of maize consumption. The wetland human works remain today as obvious topographic and vegetation anomalies in their habitats. Such major topographic and soil quality alterations are likely to have had an impact on the regional ecosystem. Raising fields and growing herbaceous crops on them would have reduced open water, waterlogging, and the shade from the natural vegetation cover, raising this website temperatures. Floodplain forests, though less diverse than upland forests, represent a significant percentage of the biological diversity of Amazonia (Erickson, 2010, Junk et al., 2010, Salo et al., 1986, Pires, 1984, Roosevelt, 1991a and Roosevelt, 1999b), so overall diversity could have FG 4592 diminished by their removal, despite the addition of cultigens and orchard trees. Such changes might have had effects on regional or even hemispheric scale, because
vegetation cover, surface moisture, and thermal patterns greatly affect patterns and amount of rainfall (Harper et al., 2010, Nepstad et al., 1994 and Salati and Vose, 1986). They also would have limited the space for seasonally migrating waterfowl. Outstanding
among terra firme earthwork complexes is the prehistoric system discovered in the Kuikuru reserve area of the Upper Xingu, a southern tributary of the Amazon. This is an interfluvial region that nonetheless possesses localized stretches of riverine alluvium. First noted in the mid-20th century by ethnographers Dole and Carneiro, the complex became the focus of a project of archeological excavation Pyruvate dehydrogenase and mapping (Heckenberger, 2004 and Heckenberger et al., 1999). Settlements took the distinctive shape of this region’s current ethnographic round villages, in which long-houses are arranged in a circle around a large plaza containing a roofed ceremonial activity area. The ethnographic site circles have important cosmological and social symbolism relating mythic events to modern social groups in prescribed ceremonial relationships. The ancient villages, though similar in form, were much larger and more numerous, and each was furnished with a series of earth structures. Around the settlements were raised earth rings and ditches, possibly with defensive functions, indicating that the population density occasioned conflict in the region. These villages, 20 in number, were connected by wide, high earth roads, indicating that they were all part of a coherent socio-political and ceremonial system that covered 400 km2. There is a site size hierarchy, from ca.