Expedition Percy Fawcett et Civilisations Amazoniennes - La Condamine Exploration Scientifique
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Expedition Percy Fawcett et Civilisations Amazoniennes

About This Project

The rainy season happens from November to April.
The expedition starts end of January 2019.

Pierre-Antoine Rousset and Benoit Duverneuil

A 57 ans, cet homme de terrain, accompagné de son fils Jack et d’un autre compagnon, Raleigh Rimell, il s’enfonce dans la jungle du Mato Grosso brésilien, convaincu que la canopée protège une mystérieuse cité perdue qu’il appelle “Z”.

Personne ne reverra jamais ni Fawcett ni ses deux membres d’expedition. Trois ans plus tard, la première équipe de recherche est envoyée sur place, sans succès. Depuis des dizaines d’expéditions se sont succédées, afin de tenter de percer le secret de la disparition du groupe.

A ce jour, la disparition de Fawcett demeure un mystère. De nombreuses hypothèses indiquent que le groupe a pu être décimé par des indiens d’Amazonie réputés particulièrement hostiles. Il est également possible que l’expédition fut emportée par la maladie ou le manque de vivres. D’autres estiment qu’ils auraient pu être attaqués par des animaux sauvages. Enfin certains proposent un récit beaucoup plus fantaisiste et romantique, Fawcett et ses compagnons auraient trouvé la Cite de Z et n’en seraient jamais repartis.

Près de 100 ans après sa disparition, deux explorateurs français, avec l’aide de technologies modernes, se lancent sur les traces de Fawcett et offre une vision nouvelle du destin de l’expédition de 1925 et de la découverte de la Cité de Z.
The tribes occupying territories within the boundaries of the park are the Kamayurá (355), Kaiabi (745), Yudjá (248), Aweti (138), Mehinako (199), Wauja (321), Yawalapiti (208), Ikpeng (319), Kalapalo (417), Kuikuro (415), Matipu (119), Nahukwá (105), Suyá (334) and Trumai (120), population figures as of 2002. a series of settlements connected by roads—has been found at the headwaters of the Xingu River where Fawcett went missing
Anthropologist Michael Heckenberger of the University of Florida teamed with the local Kuikuro people in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso to uncover 28 towns, villages and hamlets that may have supported as many as 50,000 people within roughly 7,700 square miles (20,000 square kilometers) of forest—an area slightly smaller than New Jersey. The larger towns boasted defensive ditches 10 feet (three meters) deep and 33 feet (10 meters) wide backed by a wooden palisade as well as large plazas, some reaching 490 feet (150 meters) across.

The remains of houses and ceramic cooking utensils show that humans occupied these cities for around 1,000 years, from roughly 1,500 years to as recently as 400 years ago. Satellite pictures reveal that during that time, the inhabitants carved roads through the jungle; all plaza villages had a major road that ran northeast to southwest along the summer solstice axis and linked to other settlements as much as three miles (five kilometers) away. There were bridges on some of the roads and others had canoe canals running alongside them.
But, ultimately, these cities died; most likely a victim of the diseases brought by European explorers in the early 16th century, according to Heckenberger. Two thirds or more of the original human inhabitants of Brazil are believed to have been killed by such disease, and the forest quickly swallowed the cities they left behind.

As a result, later European explorers had no idea that a civilization had once flourished in the Amazon, despite clues in kilometer-long earthworks and unusually fertile so-called terra preta (dark) soil. The 500 or so Kuikuro may have known of their ancestors’ exploits—and they may have drawn the attention of Fawcett and other explorers—but only now can the «lost cities» of the Amazon claim to have been found.

Percy Fawcett
Percy Harrison Fawcett – The Lost Continent, In the Hell of Amazonia (1991)
George Miller Dyott – Manhunt in the Jungle, The search for Colonel Fawcett (1930)
Les frères Villas Bôas – Expédition Roncador – Xingù (1946)
Orlando Villas Bôas Filho – Orlando Villas Bôas: expedições, reflexões e registros (2006)
Peter Fleming – Brazilian Adventure (1933)
La Gazette des Français du Paraguay – Percy Fawcett – Un monument de l’Exploration et de l’Aventure en Amérique Latine – Expédition du Rio Verde – bilingue français espagnol – numéro 6, Année 1, Asuncion Paraguay
Jane Clapp – The Disappearance of Percy Fawcett and Other Famous Vanishings

Amazonian Archaeology
Charles R. Clement, William M. Denevan, Michael J. Heckenberger, Andre´Braga Junqueira, Eduardo G. Neves, Wenceslau G. Teixeira and William I. Wood – The Domestication of Amazonia Before European Conquest
Morgan J. Schmidta, Anne Rapp Py-Danielb, Claide de Paula Moraesb, Raoni B.M. Valleb, Caroline F. Caromanoa, Wenceslau G. Texeirad, Carlos A. Barbosaa, João A. Fonsecaa, Marcos P. Magalhãesa, Daniel Silva do Carmo Santosa, Renan da Silva e Silvaa, Vera L. Guapindaiaa, Bruno Moraese, Helena P. Limaa, Eduardo G. Nevesc, Michael J. Heckenberger – Dark earths and the human built landscape in Amazonia: A widespread pattern of anthrosol formation (2014)
Michael J. Heckenberger, Christian Russell – What’s so human about amazonian nature? Complex societies in the early anthropocene, ca. 1000-500 BP (2011)
Michael J. Heckenberger – Lost Cities of the Amazon (2009)