Ancient Americans: Rewriting the History of the New World
Up until very recently it was believed that in 1491, the year before Columbus landed, the Americas, one-third of the earth's surface, were a near ... Show synopsis Up until very recently it was believed that in 1491, the year before Columbus landed, the Americas, one-third of the earth's surface, were a near-pristine wilderness inhabited by small, roaming bands of indigenous peoples. Then, the story went, they encountered European society, their world was turned upside down and they entered history. But recently unexpected discoveries have dramatically changed our understanding of Indian Life. Many scholars now argue that the Indians were much more numerous than previously believed, that they were in the Americas for far longer, and that they had far more ecological impact on the land. This knowledge has enormous implications for today's environmental disputes, yet little has filtered into textbooks, and even less into public awareness. Charles Mann brings together all of the latest research, and the results of his own travels throughout North and South America, to provide a new, fascinating and iconoclastic account of the Americas before Columbus.