Disease and Demography in the Americas
This landmark book brings together diverse viewpoints of leading international anthropologists and demographers on the patterns of populations and ... Show synopsis This landmark book brings together diverse viewpoints of leading international anthropologists and demographers on the patterns of populations and disease in the Americas both before and after 1492. Recent demographic literature has depicted America before European contact as a disease-free paradise, but the literature in physical anthropology and paleopathology regularly documents a variety of disease conditions in ancient America. At the same time, demographic reconstructions from ancient samples seem at odds with, standard interpretations from ethnohistory and demography. Clarifying what is fact and what is theory, these essays attest to the complexity of the issues and show that much can be learned through interdisciplinary research. The twenty-five essays from leading scholars in this area range in topic from the interpretive possibilities of skeletal paleopathology and the effects of European contact on the Chumash Indians to the impact of disease on the sixteenth-century Andean world and the 1832 inoculation program on the Missouri River.