Ten thousand-year-old remains of human settlements have been found in Bolivia and is now the oldest archaeological site in the Amazon region.
The find came as a surprise to experts as it was thought the previously unexplored area had been rarely occupied by communities due to poor environmental conditions.
Swiss archaeologists made the discovery after analysing forest islands - small forested mounds of earth - which are found throughout Amazonia.
... [The layers of deposits in the mound] appear to have formed in two phases with an older layer composed mostly of snail shells and a top layer containing materials such as pottery, bone tools and human bones.
The two layers are separated by a thin band rich in pieces of burnt clay and earth and the uppermost layer of deposits was also seen to contain occasional fragments of earthenware pottery.The middle layer was probably the result of efforts to increase soil fertility and, thus, productive agricultural land.