Pre-Columbus History of the Americas
I've just finished reading “1491 New revelations of the Americas before Columbus”. This extremely well researched non-fiction tome by Charge C. Mann explores the many misconceptions put forward by early conquerors, explorers, anthropologists and others that have shaped the way we have viewed the native populations in the Americas before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. The Bearing Strait route, the untouched wilderness, the population numbers, structered societies, time keeping, and other concepts are reevaluated in light of new dicoveries. The systematic study of the early cultures of the Americas has just begun. Oil company geologists of the 1960's found evidence of early civilizations in the remote jungles of Central and South America and the flow of new dicoveries been excelerating at a rapid pace ever since.
Mann sets the sails for a complete upheaval of the history of man in the New World.
From the publisher: In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492.
Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man’s first feat of genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only thought we knew.