Construction workers in Brazil unearthed a treasure trove of artifacts back in 2019, and archaeologists now think it’ll rewrite the entire nation’s history.
Construction workers were just getting started on the development of a new apartment complex in the seaside city of Sao Luis, when they found human remains, pottery shards and thousands of other artifacts throughout the area, according to CBS News. Archaeologists were called in to assess the site, known as Chacara Rosane, and found the artifacts were from around 9,000 years ago.
In total, some 100,000 artifacts have been found at the site, along with at least 43 human skeletons, according to a press release published in January by the Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage.
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“We’ve been working four years now, and we’ve barely scratched the surface,” lead archaeologist Wellington Lage, 70, said, according to CBS News. There are four distinct eras of occupation at the site, all of which came before Colonial occupation, the outlet reported. But the most important is the oldest, called “pre-sambaqui,” because it rewrites the history of Brazil.
The site is significantly older than other “pre-sambaqui” sites, reportedly furthering the debate over when humans actually started populating the region, living in organized societies and developing technologies to make day-to-day objects, like pottery. “This could completely change the history of not just the region but all of Brazil,” Lage continued. (RELATED: Researchers Discover 3,000-Year-Old Hydraulic System)
The Chacara Rosane site pushes occupation back at least another 1,400 years. It also comes amid growing evidence of ancient, extensive, sprawling urban complexes and cities throughout South and Central America, suggesting the people who once lived here likely did so in a far more complex manner than Big Archaeology will ever give them credit for.