GRE Reading Comprehension: JiJing 352-GRE阅读机经352篇 - LH7KUAZR35OB_436K

Meggers argued that agriculture depends on extracting nutrients from soils into edible crops, so premodern societies in Amazonia could never grow large because underlying soils are impoverished. In Meggers' view the population size that a culture could reach depended upon the agricultural potential of its environment. Meggers accepted that fish and turtle resources of the Amazon made possible the long riverside villages the explorer Orellana described in 1542, but she dismissed as exaggerated Carvajal's estimates of tens of thousands of people in those settlements, and she was sure those settlements did not have inland counterparts. Supporting this point, the Omagua, a riverbank people and one of the greatest chiefdoms observed by Carvajal as a member of Orellana's expedition, regarded hinterland forests as unpopulated wilderness.