Alter do Chao Amazon history.

Alter do Chao Amazon history. We love what we do therefore we also care for the history of our playground. Enjoy the books you will find here.
Alter do Chao Amazon history.


Alter do Chao Amazon history.




The Tapajós region is the background to many fascinating Alter do Chao Amazon history.

Prehistoric Amazon

On the cliffs of Monte Alegre rock art dated to more than 10 thousand years ago have been found.

The start of the Tapajós Culture was at least 5000 years ago and indicates a more advanced civilization. New excavations in the Santarém region seem to show that Francisco de Orellana’s reports that this region was “densely populated” and had “cities” were not pure fantasy. Already the region was known for its “black earths”, (biochar) and intricate ceramics, but now remains of settlements and water reservoirs are being found.


The Tapajós or Tapaiu indians had their first contact with the colonizers in 1542, when Francisco de Orellana sacked their plantations on his way downstream.. In the 17th century, Pedro Teixeira (1626) still negotiated with the Indians, but Bento Maciel (1639) already started attacking and decimating the indigenous population.

In 1661, Father Bettendorff sets up the first mission (Aldeia dos Tapajós) and in 1697, a fortress is built to watch over the river. In 1758, the village becomes a town (Vila) and is renamed Santarém (after a Portuguese city, which is an abbreviation of Santa Teresa). The town, with its strategic location at the meeting of two rivers, becomes an important trading town and starts to enrich.

Scientists, Hutters, Confederates and a Thief

The 19th century brings transformation. With the arrival of Bavarian naturalists von Spix e von Martius in 1819, the Amazon region comes into focus for science. The two intrepid travelers praise the region, which will live on in the memory of von Martius, as the place where he nearly drowned in a shipwreck during a squall.

The Cabanagem (Hutters Rebellion), a violent social revolt (1835-1840) that reduced the population of Grão Pará with 30-40% was already brewing here before the fall of Belém and festered on after its recon quest. One of the major rebel strongholds in the region was Cuipiranga, where you can still find wooden cannon balls.

Santarém gained the status of City in 1848. In 1849, the scientists Henry Bates, Richard Spruce e Alfred Russell Wallace, arrive. Bates (Batesian mimicry) will stay on for four years and his adventures here and in the rest of the Amazon are described in a classic travel book: A Naturalist on the River Amazons.

Few people know that Confederates established a small colony here. They arrived in 1868 and settled around Piquiá-tuba. Their descendants still live here as attested by names such as Vaughan, Riker, Jennings and Rhome. In 1871, the Confederates helped a new English neighbor, Henry Wickham, feel more at home here. After 5 difficult years in the rainforest, Henry Wickham managed to slip away with 70 thousand rubber seeds, which 30 years later would mean the end of the Amazon rubber boom.

Modern Age

In the 20th century, the first attempt to industrialize the Amazon was Henry Ford’s project to establish a modern rubber plantation. First in Fordlândia(1928) and then in Belterra (1933). The initiative was abandoned in 1945. Only 2% of the projected 36 thousand tons of rubber was produced and Ford lost US$ 200 million in today’s money. Fordlândia is a ghost town, but Belterra continues as a charming American town about an hour from Santarém.

With the construction of the Cuiabá – Santarém Road (1973) and the Wilson Fonseca Airport (1980), the Tapajós region becomes more accessible. The first hydro-electric dam in the Amazon, Curuá-Una, is inaugurated in 1977.

The advance of the agricultural border over the Amazon is exemplified with the construction of a soy terminal in 2003. On the other hand sustainability concerns, mean that the region also hosts a climate change research program, LBA (Large scale Biosphere – Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia)


Alter do Chao Amazon history.


Alter do Chao Amazon Histories



A celebration of biodiversity at the confluence of rivers and Eco regions The Tapajós is a clear water river, whose source is in the heartland savanna (“cerrado”) of Brazil near the town of Diamantino (Mato Grosso)…

Alter do Chao Amazon Histories

Fauna and Flora

As everywhere in the Amazon, the diversity of fauna and flora is high. An estimated 150-200 species of mammal and 500-600 species of bird can be found in the larger region. The fauna includes the “usual suspects” seen in many areas…


Alter do Chao Amazon Histories




The scenery is breathtaking … The beauty and variety of the Tapajós region are the result of the meeting of very different types of rivers, which flow into the Amazon, forming vast “rias” or “river bays”…

Alter do Chao Amazon history.


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