EL NIÑO'S POWERFUL REACH   What is
El Niņo?
Clues From
the Past
Long Distance
Connections
Winners &
Losers
El Niņo
Lowdown

Left 1 2 3 4 5 6 Clues From Pottery Right

Pottery excavated from sites in the Amazon Basin
Pottery excavated from sites in the Amazon Basin. Compare the sophisticated designs on the left piece to the simple designs on the right piece.


Ancient pottery may reveal major prehistoric El Niņo events. Archeologist Betty Meggers excavates pottery from sites in the Amazon Basin. She has discovered times when the pottery styles suddenly changed from complex to very simple. She thinks that the residents of the site may have left in response to the effects of an El Niņo. People returned, but they produced less sophisticated pottery.

Archeologist Betty Meggers
Archeologist Betty Meggers
Burial vase from the Marajoara Phase
Burial vase from the Marajoara Phase, AD 500-1000. Click to view rotation.