Indigenous people may have left the Amazon before Europeans arrived

Forest regrowth in the Amazon basin before AD 1350 suggests people had left the region

Stefan Huwiler/imageBROKER/Alamy

Fossil pollen records from the Amazon hint at a surge of regrowth in forests of the Amazon basin around 300 to 600 years before European colonisation of South America, suggesting that Indigenous peoples may have been leaving the region at that time.

Following European arrival in South America in the mid-16th century AD, millions of Indigenous people lost their lives in the face of unfamiliar disease, slavery and warfare in an event known as The Great Dying of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.

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