It was so good to arrive at the Hotel Porto Mardria (Porto Vehlo) and find that we had internet, a comfortable bed and air-conditioning….all the essentials of life. The workshop was hosted by the Public Ministry in an immaculate duel screen lecture theatre which I am sure is used for much more prestigious events that a workshop on remote sensing. We had 50 attendees attendees including biologists, agronomist and archaeologist from throughout Brazil and Europe (total). After a day of amazing talks which featured joint UK-Brazil drone technology development (see web publicity) we moved to the Federal University of Rodonia for an emergent ideas session seeing how development in remote sensing can address the research questions of the field scientists – technology is great but it only delivers when combined with great science questions.
The workshop finished with an excursion to the Teotonio Archaeological Site hosted by Eduardo Neves the preeminent Amazonian archaeologist. This site had been location of a natural rapids below which fish were hugely abundant. This natural resource has been exploited for ~9,000 years. Unfortunately, a recent (2011) hydroelectric dam (Santo Antonio Dam) has flooded the oldest elements of the site and, although fish are still prevalent, the easy pickings that attracted people from all over the local region are no longer present. The outcome is that the local ‘grade’ road and car park where people used to park to fish have become disused. However, the historic preparation for these roads and car park removed ~1 M of Terra Preta but exposed the more ancient TPI, ~6,000 years old. I have to thank all of Eduardo’s field team that brought to life this ancient civilisation providing an amazing insight into this ancient civilisation.