Pedro Teixeira was a Portuguese explorer who became, in 1637, the first European to travel up the entire length of the Amazon River. Teixeira was born at Cantanhede, his exploits are considered remarkable by today's standards. Because of Teixeira and other Portuguese who pushed into the depths of the Amazon, Portugal was able to obtain far more of South America from their Spanish competitors than the Treaty of Tordesillas had granted in 1494. Teixeira`s expedition became the first to travel up and down the Amazon River, he was called by the Indian natives Curiua-Catu, meaning Friendly White Man. In 1637, two Franciscan friars, under threats from nearby natives, abandoned their mission on the Amazon River and, with six soldiers, paddled a canoe up the entire length of the river to the principal Portuguese settlement of Fort Presépio, their arrival led the Portuguese to wonder. Although Spain and Portugal were both under the rule of Philip IV of Spain, trading rivalry was intense and there was a strong movement towards the restoration of the Portuguese independence.
The governor of Maranhão, Jacome Raimundo de Noronha, lost no time in commissioning an expedition under the command of Captain Pedro de Teixeira. Teixeira had considerable experience exploring the Amazon and the Xingu River leading expeditions to expel English and Dutch traders and settlers. One of the Franciscan friars, Andres de Toledo, was dispatched to Lisbon to report his expedition to the Portuguese authorities. So Teixeira became the first European to travel up the Amazon River, reaching Quito by way of the Napo River; the Portuguese expedition was a large one, consisting of 47 canoes powered by 1,200 natives and Negroes to transport 70 armed Portuguese soldiers and their cargo of food, weapons and barter goods. Feeding so many over a journey of several months was a formidable task, demanding the most of the explorers' hunting and food gathering skills, requiring barter with local tribes; the journey upstream against a strong current was arduous, advance parties were sent out to reconnoiter the way ahead in order to identify the correct fork in the river to take.
Teixeira had difficulty persuading the natives to stay with the expedition as it got farther from their homes. During the Expedition Pedro Teixeira explored the mouth of the Rio Negro and discovered the Madeira River, who explored in the downstream part and baptized with this name; the Madeira River and the Mamoré and Guaporé rivers linked to it would become decisive for the great journey of discovery conducted by António Raposo Tavares Flag from 1648 to 1652. After eight months, the Portuguese reached the first Spanish settlement on the Rio Quijos. At this stage, Teixeira divided the expedition, sending eight canoes ahead whilst the remainder were to stay at the settlement for the return journey; the Rio Quijos was abandoned when the current grew too strong, the rest of the journey was completed on foot. After one year, in 1638, the expedition reached Quito to a rousing reception. Although the Spaniards of Peru afforded the Portuguese explorers every hospitality, they were concerned to know how far the Portuguese had settled the Amazon.
Based on the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494, the strength of the expedition of Francisco de Orellana, the Spanish considered the Amazon theirs. Teixeira and his party were detained several weeks in Quito whilst the Spanish authorities decided what to do. In the end it was decided to send a party of Jesuit priests, headed by Cristóbal de Acuña, to accompany the Portuguese on their return journey and report all they observed. Father Cristóbal was to present his report to the Royal Council of the Indies. Father Cristobal's report was published as a book in 1641. In it, he gives a glowing account the Amazon regions and is complimentary towards the indigenous Brazilian natives and their way of life; the expedition itself appears to have been uneventful, apart from a disagreement between the Jesuits and the Portuguese officers over a proposed slaving expedition up the Rio Negro. Teixeira gave way to the Jesuits over the slaving issue and the expedition reached Belém on 12 December 1639, just over two years after it had set out.
Although Father Cristóbal urged Spain to lose no time in settling the Amazon, his advice came too late. In 1640, King João IV was proclaimed king of Portugal and, in 1641, the Portuguese of the colony of Brazil recognized him as such. Little is known about Pedro Teixeira apart from the Amazon expedition. After completing the expedition he went to São, he was duly promoted to Capitão-Mor. He accepted the post of governor of Pará on 28 February 1640 but he yielded the office after three months due to ill health, he died on 4 July 1641. Smith, Anthony. Explorers of the Amazon. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-76337-4 Acuña, Christobal de. 1641. Nuevo descubrimiento del gran Rio de las Amazonas. Madrid: Imprenta del Reyno. Pedro Teixeira, Travels of Pedro Teixeira, Translated by William F. Sinclair, London: Hakluyt Society – via Internet Archive
Pará is a state in northern Brazil traversed by the lower Amazon River. It borders the Brazilian states of Amapá, Maranhão, Mato Grosso and Roraima. To the northwest it borders Suriname; the capital and largest city is Belém, at the mouth of the Amazon at the Atlantic Ocean and the 11th most populous city in the country. Pará is the most populous state of the northern region, with a population of over 7.5 million, being the ninth-most populous state in Brazil. It is the second-largest state of Brazil in area, with 1.2 million km², second only to Amazonas upriver. Its most famous icons are the Amazon Rainforest. Pará produces rubber, tropical hardwoods such as mahogany, minerals such as iron ore and bauxite. A new commodity crop is cultivated in the region of Santarém; every October, Belém receives tens of thousands of tourists for the year's most important religious celebration: the procession of the Círio de Nazaré. Another important attraction of the capital is the Marajó-style ceramics, based on pottery from the extinct Marajó indigenous culture, on an island in the Amazon River.
These designs have gained increased international awareness. Toponym of the word pará has its origin in the Tupi language and means "river-sea"; the state's name comes from the river of the same name. In 1500, the Spanish navigator Vicente Yañez Pinzón was the first European to navigate the mouth of the Amazon River. On 26 August 1542, the Spaniard Francisco de Orellana reached the mouth of the Amazon River, waterway by river from Quito, Ecuador. On 28 October 1637, the Portuguese Pedro Teixeira left Belem and went to Quito: during the expedition, he placed a landmark in the confluence of the Napo and Aguarico, in the current border between Ecuador and Peru, to Portugal, to Brazil, getting the possession of most of the Amazon, including all of the current territory of Pará. Archaeologists divide the ancient inhabitants of prehistory Brazil into groups according to their way of life and tools: hunter-gatherers of the coast and farmers; these groups were subsequently named by European settlers as "Indians".
There are archaeological records proving the human presence in Brazil and the region of Santarém since 3000 BC. Marajó people lived in farmer's houses 3,500 years ago; these people knew ceramics, natural medicinal compounds. Their culture remains in Marajoara pottery, which has peculiar decoration; the period from 500 to 1300 was the height of the Marajoara culture. The region of the Amazon valley, by the Treaty of Tordesillas, was in possession of the Spanish Crown, the Portuguese expeditionaries, with the purpose of consolidating the region as Portuguese territory, founded the Fort of the Nativity in 1616, in what was called Santa Maria de Belém do Grão-Pará; the building was the first of the model on Amazon and the most significant in the Amazon territory until 1660. Despite the construction of fort, the occupation of territory was marked by early Dutch and English incursions in search of spices, hence the need of the Portuguese to fortify the area. In the 17th century, the region, integrated into the captaincy of Maranhão, was prosperous with crops and livestock.
In 1616 the captaincy of Grão-Pará was created, belonging to the Portuguese colonial state of Maranhão. In the same year the state of Grão-Pará and Maranhão transferred capital to Belem and attaching the captaincy of Rio Negro in 1755 by creating the State of Grão-Pará and Rio Negro. In 1751, with the expansion to the west, the colonial state of Grão-Pará, which besides the captaincy of Grão Pará would host the captaincy of São José do Rio Negro. In 1823, the Pará decided to join the independent Brazil, separated during the colonial period, reporting directly to Lisbon. However, political infighting continued; the most important of them, the Cabanagem, decreed the independence of the province of Pará. This was, along with the revolution Farroupilha, Rio Grande do Sul, the only to lift the regency period when the power was taken. Cabanagem was the only revolt led by the popular strata. Cabanagem, a popular and social revolt during the Empire of Brazil, in the Amazon region, was influenced by the French Revolution.
It was due to extreme poverty and disease that devastated the Amazon at the beginning of the period, in the former province of Grão-Pará, which included the current Amazonian states of Pará, Amapá, Roraima and Rondônia. The revolt spread from 1835 until January 1840, due to the process of independence of Brazil, which did not occur in the province due to political irrelevance to which the region was relegated by Prince Regent Pedro I. After independence, the strong Portuguese influence remained stable, giving political irrelevance in this province to the Brazilian central government. Indians and mestizos, all named cabanos, teamed against the Regent Government and rebelled, to increase the importance of the region in Brazil's central government addressing the issue of poverty as one of the reasons. All lived in mud huts. At the bottom of the rebellion, there was a mobilization of the Brazilian Empire against the reactionary forces of the province of Grão-Pará in expelling the insurgents who wanted to keep the region as a Portuguese colo
The Tapajós is a river in Brazil. It is a major tributary of the Amazon River; when combined with the Juruena River, the Tapajós is 1,200 mi long. It is one of the largest clearwater rivers, accounting for about 6% of the water in the Amazon basin. For most of its length the Tapajós runs through Pará State, but the upper part forms the border between Pará and Amazonas State; the source is at the Juruena–Teles Pires river junction. The Tapajós River basin accounts for 6% of the water in the Amazon Basin, making it the fifth largest in the system. From the lower Arinos River to the Maranhão Grande falls are a more or less continuous series of formidable cataracts and rapids. For its last 100 mi it is between 4 and 9 mi wide and much of it deep; the valley of the Tapajós is bordered on both sides by bluffs. They are from 300 to 400 ft high along the lower river; the eastern border of Amazônia National Park is formed by the Tapajós River. From Itaituba and southwest a part of the Trans-Amazonian Highway follows the river, while a part of BR-163 runs parallel to the river from Santarém and south.
The South American pole of inaccessibility is located close to the sources of Tapajós's tributaries, near town Utiariti The Tapajós is named after the Tapajós people, an extinct group of indigenous people from Santarém. The Tapajós is one of three major clearwater rivers in the Amazon Basin. Clearwater rivers share the low conductivity and low levels of dissolved solids with blackwater rivers, but differ from these in having water that at most only is somewhat acidic and clear with a greenish colour. Although most of the tributaries in the Tapajós basin are clearwater, there are exceptions, including the blackwater Braço Norte River. About 325 fish species are known including 65 endemics. Many of these have only been discovered within the last decade, a conservative estimate suggests more than 500 fish species will be recognized in the river basin; the fish, along with many other endemic species of flora and fauna are threatened by the Tapajós hydroelectric complex dams that are planned on the river.
The largest of those projects is the São Luiz do Tapajós Dam, whose environmental licensing process has been suspended - not yet cancelled - by IBAMA due to its expected impacts on indigenous and river communities. It would flood a part of the area of the Sawré Muybu Indigenous Territory. Another is the planned 2,338 MW Jatobá Hydroelectric Power Plant. A third dam, the controversial Chacorão Dam, would flood a large area of the Munduruku Indigenous Territory; the dams are part of a plan to convert the Tapajos into a waterway for barges to take soybeans from Mato Grosso to the Amazon River ports. A continuous chain of dams, with locks, would eliminate today's waterfalls; the Washington Post has referred to this issue as the next battle over saving the Amazon as a result of its controversy involving Indigenous communities, the Brazilian government, large multinationals and international environmental organizations. The river is the sixth title of the album Aguas da Amazonia
Municipalities of Brazil
The municipalities of Brazil are administrative divisions of the Brazilian states. At present, Brazil has 5,570 municipalities, making the average municipality population 34,361; the average state in Brazil has 214 municipalities. Roraima is the least subdivided state, with 15 municipalities, while Minas Gerais is the most subdivided state, with 853; the Federal District cannot be divided into municipalities, according to the Brazilian Constitution, the Federal District assumes the same constitutional and legal powers and obligations of the states and municipalities, instead, it is divided by administrative regions. The 1988 Brazilian Constitution treats the municipalities as parts of the Federation and not dependent subdivisions of the states; each municipality has an autonomous local government, comprising a mayor and a legislative body called municipal chamber. Both the local government and the legislative body are directly elected by the population every four years; these elections take place at the same time all over the country.
Each municipality has the constitutional power to approve its own laws, as well as collecting taxes and receiving funds from the state and federal governments. However, municipal governments have no judicial power, courts are only organised at the state or federal level. A subdivision of the state judiciary, or comarca, can either correspond to an individual municipality or encompass several municipalities; the seat of the municipal administration is a nominated city, with no specification in the law about the minimum population, area or facilities. The city always has the same name as the municipality. Municipalities can be subdivided, only for administrative purposes, into districts. Other populated sites with no legal effect or regulation. All municipalities are subdivided into neighbourhoods, although most municipalities do not define their neighbourhood limits. Municipalities can be split or merged to form new municipalities within the borders of the state, if the population of the involved municipalities expresses a desire to do so in a plebiscite.
However, these must abide by the Brazilian Constitution, forming exclaves or seceding from the state or union is expressly forbidden. Municipalities of Acre Municipalities of Alagoas Municipalities of Amapá Municipalities of Amazonas Municipalities of Bahia Municipalities of Ceará Municipalities of Espírito Santo Municipalities of Goiás Municipalities of Maranhão Municipalities of Mato Grosso Municipalities of Mato Grosso do Sul Municipalities of Minas Gerais Municipalities of Pará Municipalities of Paraíba Municipalities of Paraná Municipalities of Pernambuco Municipalities of Piauí Municipalities of Rio de Janeiro Municipalities of Rio Grande do Norte Municipalities of Rio Grande do Sul Municipalities of Rondônia Municipalities of Roraima Municipalities of Santa Catarina Municipalities of São Paulo Municipalities of Sergipe Municipalities of Tocantins Lists of cities List of largest cities in Brazil List of municipalities of Brazil Administrative region Map on the World Gazetteer at Archive.today Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics
Rio Branco, Acre
Rio Branco is a Brazilian municipality, capital of the state of Acre. Located in the valley of the Acre River in northern Brazil, it is the most populous municipality in the state, with 319,825 inhabitants – half the state population, according to the 2011 census. Rio Branco was one of the first settlements to appear on the banks of the Acre River. In 1913 it became a county. In 1920 it became the capital of the territory of Acre, in 1962, the state capital, it is the administrative center for the cultural region. Rio Branco is located at 9° 58' 29" south and 67° 48' 36" west, at an altitude of 143 metres above sea level; the city is bisected by the Acre River, which divides it into the Second Districts. The river is crossed by the newest bridge being the Catwalk Joaquim Macedo. Rio Branco is located in the mesoregion of Vale do the microregion of Rio Branco, it is bordered on the north by the municipalities of Porto Acre. The Amazon rainforest represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests and comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world.
Wet tropical forests are the most species-rich biome, tropical forests in the Americas are more species rich than the wet forests in Africa and Asia. As the largest tract of tropical rain forest in the world, the Amazonian rainforests have unparalleled biodiversity. More than one-third of all species in the world live in the Amazon rainforest; the municipality contains part of the 931,537 hectares Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve, a sustainable use environmental unit created in 1990. The city of Rio Branco has the lowest average annual temperature among the Northern capitals; the city has a tropical monsoon climate, with temperatures between 23 and 33 °C or 73.4 and 91.4 °F during the hottest days of the year. The lowest temperatures occur with frequent records of 22 °C or 71.6 °F at dawn. The period from December to March is the hottest time of year, with highs of 38 °C or 100.4 °F or more. Between May and August the Branco region experiences cooler weather, registering lower temperatures compared to regional standards.
In July 2010 the city experienced record low temperatures. On the afternoon of the 17th, temperatures were registered to be 14.7 °C or 58.5 °F on average with a minimum of 12.1 °C or 53.8 °F. The 19th stood out with a minimum at 9.8 °C or 49.6 °F. However, the month's maximum reached 28 °C or 82.4 °F. Rio Branco has a lengthy wet season spanning from October through May and a short dry season covering the remaining four months; the city on average sees 1.9 metres or 6 feet 3 inches of rainfall annually. Rio Branco experiences its heaviest rainfall from December through March, averaging over 200 millimetres or 8 inches of precipitation per month during that timeframe; the city has six newspapers. O Tabloide, A Gazeta, Página 20, A Tribuna, O Estado are weekly newspapers. Cellular carriers who maintain coverage in the region are Vivo S. A. TIM, Oi, Claro; the main companies offering fixed telephone coverage in the city are Embratel, Oi, GVT. The public transport system has improved in recent years due to the construction of the Terminal Urbano near the center of town.
However, the buses are still delayed. Taxis, including motorcycle taxis, are used by the population. Rio Branco-Plácido de Castro International Airport is 18 kilometres away on the BR-364 highway in the rural area; this new airport was opened on November 22, 1999, when the older facility, Presidente Médici International Airport, was closed. The BR-364 was twinned to facilitate access to the airport, which serves domestic and international aviation and military operations, with scheduled airlines and air taxis; the terminal performs about 14 operations a day. By August 2010 it was the seventh-busiest airport in Northern Brazil, the 38th busiest airport in the country; the BR-364 and the BR-317 are the main highways in Acre. To the east, the BR-364 connects Rio Branco to the rest of the country; the highway cuts west across the state, linking Rio Branco to Cruzeiro do Sul, the second major city of the state, through the municipalities of Sena Madureira, Manoel Urbano, Feijó, Tarauacá, Rodrigues Alves.
The BR-317 has a length of 330 kilometres, links the capital to the south of the state, through the municipalities of Senador Guiomard and Epitaciolândia, on the border with Republic of Bolivia. From Brasiléia the road continues for another 110 kilometres to reach the city of Assis Brasil on the border with Peru; the highway continues on the Peruvian side as part of the Interoceanic Highway and as Highway 30C and Highway 26 to the city of Cuzco. Palácio Rio Branco was built in 1930 for the seat of the state government; the building was restored beginning in 1999 to preserve its historical character. In 2008 it was transformed into a museum of history. Gameleira is a historical site located in the curve of the Acre River. Today, more than a century the strangler fig located there is a vigorous tree, measuring 2.5 metres in diameter at the trunk and 20 metres in height. Opened in 1959, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Nazareth was constructed in the style of an ancient Roman basilica, its interior has three naves separated by 36 stained-glass window
Santarém is a city and municipality located in the district of Santarém in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 61,752, in an area of 552.54 km². The population of the city proper was 29,929 in 2012; the mayor is Ricardo Gonçalves. The municipal holiday is the day of Saint Joseph; the city is on the Portuguese Way variant of the Way of Saint James. Since prehistory, the region of Santarém has been inhabited, first by the Lusitani people and by the Greeks, Visigoths and Portuguese Christians. Of the various legends related to the foundation of Santarém, the most famous tells of the Visigoth Saint Iria, martyred in Tomar and whose uncorrupted body reached Santarém. In her honour, the name of the town would be changed to Sancta Irene, from which Santarém would be derived; the foundation of the city is attributed to the Romans, who occupied the region in the 2nd century BC and named the city Scalabis. During the Roman period Scalabis was an important commercial post in the mid-Tagus region and was the administrative capital of one of the regions of Lusitania.
Julius Caesar ordered the creation of a military camp in Santarém in 61 BC. The city takes at this time the designation of Scallabis Praesidium Iulium; the 3rd century crisis and the decline of the Western Roman Empire affected the civitas and in the 5th century the town was conquered by Germanic tribes. In 460, the Visigoths, led by Sunerico, expelled the Alans. After the period of Visigoth domination, Santarém was taken in the 8th century by the Moors, who named it Shantarin. Under the rule of the Moors the city became an important cultural centre. Important Moor personalities born in Santarém include the poet and historian Ibn Bassam and the poet Ibn Sara; the period of Moorish domination was finished in 1147 by the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, who conquered the city on March 15. According to period chronicles, the King and a small army managed to take the city after some men climbed the walls during the night and opened the gates; the story of the conquest of Santarém is told in a heroic tone in the medieval chronicle De expugnatione Scalabis, which celebrates and justifies the power of the first Portuguese King.
From a military point of view, the conquest of Santarém and, in that same year, of Lisbon were crucial steps in the Reconquista of Portugal. The most notable Almohad ruler, Abu Yaqub Yusuf, died in Santarém while trying to recapture it during the siege of 1184. After the reconquest of Santarém, the city was visited by the successive monarchs and many feudal parliaments were held in Santarém. King Fernando I, in particular, was fond of the city and chose to be buried in the Convent of Saint Francis, his tomb is now in the Carmo Museum in Lisbon. The city was one of the most important in medieval Portugal, as attested by its large number of monasteries and its royal palace. There are still enough examples of Gothic buildings in the city for it to be known as the "Capital of the Portuguese Gothic". In the 15th century, during the period of Portuguese discoveries, expeditions like the conquest of Ceuta were planned in the royal palace of Santarém. Many important personalities related to this historical time are buried in the churches of Santarém.
Pedro de Meneses, first governor of Ceuta after the Portuguese conquest, is buried in a magnificent Gothic tomb in the Church of the Grace. In the same church is buried Pedro Álvares Cabral, the navigator that discovered Brazil in 1500; the following centuries represented periods of decadence for Santarém. The city was hit by earthquakes twice: one in 1531 and the other in 1755, which hit the city hard and many historical monuments were lost. During the Napoleonic invasions in the early 19th century the city was pillaged. In the second half of the 19th century many improvements reached Santarém, like running water, gas light, the building of a bridge over the Tagus and the railway in 1861. In the 20th century, the infrastructure of the city continued to improve and the economy of the city remained dedicated to the production of agricultural goods; the city of Santarém stands is situated on a plateau, located on the right bank of the Tagus River 65 kilometres northeast from Lisbon. This city, the urbanized portion, includes the former-parishes of Marvila, São Nicolau, São Salvador and Várzea, united in the green paper on administrative reform.
Administratively, the municipality is divided into 18 civil parishes: Santarém, Portugal has a Mediterranean climate. Covilhã, Portugal Coimbra, Portugal Badajoz, Spain Ceuta, Autonomous city, Spain Porto Alegre, Caué, São Tomé and Príncipe Santarém city centre has several monuments, including the largest and most varied ensemble of gothic churches in Portugal; these include fine examples of transitional Romanesque–Gothic and late Gothic. In addition, the city has nice examples of Manueline, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Old Castle of Santarém: Located on a high slope over the Tagus river and the surrounding landscape, the site of the old castle of Santarém is now a park. Part of the walls and towers of the castle are still preserved. Church of Saint John of Alporão: Built between the 12th and the 13th centuries by the Knig
The Amazon River in South America is the largest river by discharge volume of water in the world, by some definitions it is the longest. The headwaters of the Apurímac River on Nevado Mismi had been considered for nearly a century as the Amazon's most distant source, until a 2014 study found it to be the headwaters of the Mantaro River on the Cordillera Rumi Cruz in Peru; the Mantaro and Apurímac join, with other tributaries form the Ucayali River, which in turn meets the Marañón River upstream of Iquitos, Peru, to form what countries other than Brazil consider to be the main stem of the Amazon. Brazilians call this section the Solimões River above its confluence with the Rio Negro to form what Brazilians call the Amazon at the Meeting of Waters at Manaus, the river's largest city. At an average discharge of about 209,000 cubic metres per second —approximately 6,591 cubic kilometres per annum, greater than the next seven largest independent rivers combined—the Amazon represents 20% of the global riverine discharge to the ocean.
The Amazon basin is the largest drainage basin in the world, with an area of 7,050,000 square kilometres. The portion of the river's drainage basin in Brazil alone is larger than any other river's basin; the Amazon enters Brazil with only one-fifth of the flow it discharges into the Atlantic Ocean, yet has a greater flow at this point than the discharge of any other river. The river was known by Europeans as the Marañón and the Peruvian part of the river is still known by that name today, it became known as the Rio Amazonas in Spanish and Portuguese, or The Amazon in English. The name Rio Amazonas was given after native warriors attacked a 16th-century expedition by Francisco de Orellana; the warriors were led by women, reminding de Orellana of the Amazon warriors, a tribe of women warriors related to Iranian Scythians and Sarmatians mentioned in Greek mythology. The word Amazon itself may be derived from the Iranian compound *ha-maz-an- " fighting together" or ethnonym *ha-mazan- "warriors", a word attested indirectly through a derivation, a denominal verb in Hesychius of Alexandria's gloss "ἁμαζακάραν· πολεμεῖν.
Πέρσαι", where it appears together with the Indo-Iranian root *kar- "make". During what many archaeologists call the formative stage, Amazonian societies were involved in the emergence of South America's highland agrarian systems; the trade with Andean civilisations in the terrains of the headwaters in the Andes, formed an essential contribution to the social and religious development of the higher altitude civilisations of among others the Muisca and Incas. Early human settlements were based on low-lying hills or mounds. Shell mounds were the earliest evidence of habitation, they are associated with ceramic age cultures. Artificial earth platforms for entire villages are the second type of mounds, they are best represented by the Marajoara culture. Figurative mounds are the most recent types of occupation. There is ample evidence that the areas surrounding the Amazon River were home to complex and large-scale indigenous societies chiefdoms who developed large towns and cities. Archaeologists estimate that by the time the Spanish conquistador De Orellana traveled across the Amazon in 1541, more than 3 million indigenous people lived around the Amazon.
These pre-Columbian settlements created developed civilizations. For instance, pre-Columbian indigenous people on the island of Marajó may have developed social stratification and supported a population of 100,000 people. In order to achieve this level of development, the indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon rainforest altered the forest's ecology by selective cultivation and the use of fire. Scientists argue that by burning areas of the forest repetitiously, the indigenous people caused the soil to become richer in nutrients; this created dark soil areas known as terra preta de índio. Because of the terra preta, indigenous communities were able to make land fertile and thus sustainable for the large-scale agriculture needed to support their large populations and complex social structures. Further research has hypothesized; some say that its effects on forest ecology and regional climate explain the otherwise inexplicable band of lower rainfall through the Amazon basin. Many indigenous tribes engaged in constant warfare.
James Stuart Olson wrote: "The Munduruku expansion dislocated and displaced the Kawahíb, breaking the tribe down into much smaller groups... first came to the attention of Europeans in 1770 when they began a series of widespread attacks on Brazilian settlements along the Amazon River." In March 1500, Spanish conquistador Vicente Yáñez Pinzón was the first documented European to sail up the Amazon River. Pinzón called the stream Río Santa María del Mar Dulce shortened to Mar Dulce sweet sea, because of its fresh water pushing out into the ocean. Another Spanish explorer, Francisco de Orellana, was the first European to travel from the origins of the upstream river basins, situated in the Andes, to the mouth of the river. In this journey, Orellana baptised some of the affluents of the Amazonas like Rio Negro and Jurua; the name Amazonas is taken from the native warriors that attacked this expedition women, that reminded De Orellana of the mythical female Amazon warriors from the