Amazon (3)

Source: WTL photograph© on site in the Amazon River Basin (1990's).
Comments: This is a view of a man in a dugout canoe on the Rio Negro. Notice that this image links with some of the photographs we studied in the Opening Slide Show; see, notably: => Opening Show #15. For a picture of a boat that is one level up in terms of motorized power, see: => Amazon #3a. For an important discussion of pre-contact Amazonia (i.e., before these Europeans "discovered" the Amazon and before they explored it: Amerigo Vespucci and Vicente Pinzón in 1499 and Francisco de Orellana in 1542), see Charles C. Mann's book, 1491, pp. 315-349. Among many important statements he makes in his book, he mentions that contemporary scholars believe that Amazonia was once a densely populated and highly cultivated region. Referring to the Tapajós river region about half way down the Amazon from Manaus, Mann says this:

"If the agriculture practiced in the lower Tapajós were as intensive as the most complex cultures of precontact North America, Woods [William I. Woods, an archeologist and geographer] told me, 'you'd be talking something capable of supporting about 200,000 to 400,000 people'--making it at the time one of the most densely populated places in the world" (p. 349).