Ancient City— Uncovered, Rewrites History

A significant discovery was made in Tonga, revealing evidence of an ancient city through advanced laser technology. Nearly 10,000 mounds were discovered, suggesting the existence of one of the earliest Pacific cities, though they are barely visible today.

Aerial laser surveys also indicated that South and Central America could have supported large urban centers, with populations surpassing previous estimations.

Despite Tonga’s tropical setting, this ancient city lies just 12 kilometers from the capital, Nuku’alofa, challenging previous beliefs about early settlement patterns. This discovery, dating back to around AD 300, signifies significant social and economic changes as the population grew.

These findings also challenge traditional views of urbanism in the Southern Hemisphere during the European Middle Ages, suggesting that Tonga may represent a different model of ancient city development. It raises the possibility of uncovering similar cities across the Pacific.

Mound construction, typical of traditional urbanism in the Americas, is also evident in Tonga. In areas lacking stone resources, people used dirt to build mounds. However, the exact purpose of each mound remains uncertain.

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