The pre-Colombian polities’ acts as the basis for describing land use patterns and settlement of the Europeans when they came to the Xingu region. This region is a lobe of tropical forest which is located between the dense evergreen rainforests at the center of the Amazon. It is considered to be part of the transition forest which covers some parts of the southern Amazon. The studies of Pre-Colombia history document some main episodes of radical changes within the cultural continuum that established itself from the initial colonization process.
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Before they came in contact with Europeans, the indigenous were organized clusters that constituted a galactic form of urbanism. These galactic forms had some features that resemble those of other polities. The history of the changes that occurred in these polities has impacts on the sustainability of development and this has been used to maintain biodiversity. The prehistory of Amazon urbanism has been debated in recent archeology. The recent findings of archeology show that the modern cities and towns have some common characteristics as those of the Pre-Colombian polities. These studies across the globe have emphasized the differences and have lead to the expansion of some urban societies which are famous. The studies revealed that early urban societies have a permanent concentration of persons who are located in a limited territory.
The pre-Colombian history shows the complex settlement patterns that dominated the upper Xingu where there was a multicentric pattern of polities. These plaza cities were organized in a very nested complicated hierarchy. Due to this galactic cluster, Tambiah developed a galactic model which describes the similarities between large and small centers. Urbanism according to the early studies is not limited to mega centers but also comprises multicentric networked settlement patterns. The history also reveals that galactic clusters were present in regional peer polity and they had common characteristics in geographical and socials aspects. The peer polity shared economic, sociopolitical and ideology characteristics. The prehistoric residential sites which are associated with galactic clusters are true representatives of small territories polities. These clusters are either integrated large which has more than 40 ha land and medium-size plaza cities which cover about 30 ha. These plaza cities are characterized by major ditches which clearly defines the boundaries.
The upper Xingu contrasts the features of early urban societies with full-blown cities or states. It underscores kinds and degrees of urbanism that are characterized by multicentric urban settlements which include dispersed settlements. The unique feature 0of Amazonia is that there are no other same centers in other world areas that have similar features. There are substantial differences such as more diffused settlements in another area in Amazonia which does not cover more than 50 ha. The findings of the Pre-Colombia history suggest that ancient civilizations took place in forested areas such as the Amazon basin and North America. This differs from the civilizations in cities such as Mesopotamia and Egypt which are more centralized and less dispersed. The Pre-Colombian polities had some models that were designed purposely for the promotion of urban development in lower-density populated areas. It proposed networks of well-planned cities, land for agricultural purposes and a subtle gradient that was located between urban and rural areas.
In conclusion, the Upper Xingu is considered to be one of the largest contiguous tracts of forest due to deforestation that is common in the pre-Colombia regions. The findings of this study stress the importance of the effects of long-term change in the natural systems of human beings due to the fact that it carries crucial implications on ecological resilience and biodiversity.
Heckenberger, Michael J.et al.2008. ‘Pre-Columbian Urbanism, Anthropenic Landscapes, and the Future of the Amazon’. Science 321: 1214- 1217.