Amazon rainforest history
The documented Amazon Rainforest history when it goes about its people and settlements is relatively short. Due to the fact that this part of South America has always been a very isolated region due to the fact that they are cut off from the coast by the mighty Andes Mountains, and due to the dense forest inaccessible in many places. This makes that the communities in the jungle always have lived a live somewhat isolated and independent. The area has always been inhabited, not in the same levels as the coast or the sierra but proof of ancient civilizations living in this area has been recorded in several occasions. The Amazon rainforest history never has been marked by the arrival of the Spanish or Portuguese conquistadores as the South American coasts. The conquistadores have arrived into the heart of the Amazon Rainforest very few times and almost no records have been kept of early voyages into the deep jungle.
As the Conquistadores brought with them the art of documenting what they experienced, even though not always unbiased, most historic information we have now from South America is made up out the information gained from the conquistador’s writings, together with archeological findings throughout the centuries. This makes that there is very few information regarding the ancient civilizations that have roamed these lands. Nevertheless, from the start of the 17th century, adventurers starting exploring the area and apart from mapping different actual civilizations, proof was and is still found that ancient and organized cultures have lived here. One of the most important discoveries in the Peru rainforest is probably the discovery of Espiritu Pampa in 1960. In 1911 Hiram Bingham, the discoverer of Machu Picchu already found the ruins but never really saw the importance of it. Nowadays the main assumption is that Espiritu Pampa was the final refuge of the Inca’s in the jungle. If the Spaniards ever reached this place is unknown, most theories assume not but this is still open to discussions. Apart from these discoveries, the Amazon Rainforest history remains limited to the modern history of this area and its settlements.
Most rainforest settlements used to be small villages made up out of the local small communities which at times had contact among them but lived very much isolated. In the 17th century when jungle cultivations became more and more popular in the international market a boom of cities started all over the Amazon rainforest, mainly concentrated at the shores of the bigger rivers in this area. Most famous in the world are of course Manaus in Brazil and Iquitos in Peru. These big cities are both living proof of the modern Amazon rainforest history. Having both experienced their first big impulse during the rubber boom in the 19th century, they started growing at rapid rates and became large contributors to the economies of both countries. When the demand for rubber fell, the Amazonians quickly transferred to another product they had in abundance; wood. This made that these cities kept growing until cities with populations of respectively one and half a million people. The lumber wood is still one of the biggest export products of the Amazon Rainforest and a real preoccupation to environmental organizations. The Amazon rainforest, being the lung of the world, is being cut down at a rapid rate mainly by illegal forestry companies.
Nowadays another big industry has found its way to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest; mining. Gold always has been a profitable commodity and since the finding of gold in many of the rivers that fill up the Amazon River, this has become a large industry in Peru. In many rivers the number of animals has drastically diminished and rivers have been polluted by heavy chemicals used to clean the gold found.
The Amazon rainforest history has always been exploited and used for mankind; nevertheless, nowadays we have reached a critical level in maintaining these ancient forests. Therefore this natural wonder, home to so many animals, plants and civilizations should be used wisely and protected for future generations. In order to get to know this great forest, please contact us to see if we can arrange you an unforgettable trip to this amazing area. We work with different lodges all over the Amazon Rainforest, all committed on preserving the fauna and flora of the area and contributing to local sustainable and ecological development.