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Charles C. Mann's 1491: Part II

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Kaly Malechek

on 27 March 2015

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Transcript of Charles C. Mann's 1491: Part II

Charles C. Mann's 1491
Part II
Abbott found arrowheads on his New Jersey farm
Believed he had found proof of the Pleistocene Man
Abbott started a trend of amateur archaeology
Faced vehement rejection by professional archaeologists
When a human femur was found on Abbott's farm, it was submitted to Ales Hrdlicka
Hrdlicka informed Abbott and dozens of other amateurs over the next few decades that their findings were of no significance
Abbott & Hrdlicka
1939 Matthew W. Sterling explored the southern Gulf Coast of Mexico
Debate over whether the Olmec are to be considered the "mother-culture" or simply a "sister-culture"
Olmec - "people of the land of rubber"
Architecture and art that conveyed understanding of human biological processes and diseases
Had the wheel for over 2000 years, but only ever used it as a toy
never owned beasts of burden
La Venta - thought to be the place of birth of civilization of Mexico
architectural structures
after the development of maize agriculture
"Olmec" People
Contact Issues
“One can say that for the most part the initial Indian-European encounter was less of an intellectual shock to Indians than to Europeans” (p.160)
Many Indian groups believed that Europeans were gods or supernatural men
Unlike Europeans, Indians were "theologically prepared" for the encounter
Choctaw and Zuni lore
Existence of Native Americans was at odds with biblical teachings
José de Acosta
Educators grappled for an explanation that would not contradict the Bible
Conclusion: "Asia and the Americas must join somewhere"
Marked the beginning of countless theories as to when the New World was first settled and by whom
Game Changer
Human skeletons found buried among those megafauna
Humans were living during the Ice Ages
There might also have been humans inhabiting the Americas at this time
Amateur scientists have a new mission
C. C. Abbott
Ales Hrdlicka
Folsom, New Mexico
Early 20th centhury: flood in Folsom, NM unearths several large bones
Discovered by ranch foreman George McJunkin
McJunkin tried for years to attract the attention of professional archaeolists
In 1922 a team from the Colorado Museum of Natural History investigated the site
An arrowhead was found amid the bones of long-extinct bison
Proof of Pleistocene Man
The end of a 40-year battle
Clovis, New Mexico
1929: 19 year-old Ridgley Whiteman finds large bones in Blackwater Draw
Edgar B. Howard & team spend 4 years at the site
Artifacts show that the area was inhabited by 2 separate societies
More recent society had Folsom-like tools
Older society had less refined tools
the Clovis Point
Later, similar tools are found across the U.S. and Canada
Clovis First Theory
Theories About Clovis People
Little known about Clovis people until 1950s when Willard F. Libby invents radiocarbon dating
Clovis artifacts were consistently dated between 13,500 and 12,900 B.C.E.
C. Vance Haynes developed a theory as to their arrival in the Americas
Haynes believed the age of the artifacts coincided with the only period in time when the passage between N. American and Siberia would have been traversable
Clovis people crossed at this time
All later Indians are their descendants
Arguments Against Clovis-First
Indians across the Americas spoke at least 1,200 separate languages from as many as 180 language families
There are just 4 language families in all of Europe
Linguist Joseph H. Greenburg: lumped Indian languages into only 3 language families but wrote that this suggests 3 migrations
Same article: dental evidence corresponds to these 3 identified groups
New theory: Clovis First, but Clovis the First of Three
End of the Pleistocene War
First of Three theory widely attacked
1994: Douglas Wallace & James Neel study mitochondrial DNA
Conclusion: first Paleo-Indian group to migrate preceded Clovis by 10,000 years
1997: Sandro L. Bonatto & Francisco M. Bolzano study the fourth genetic halpgroup
Conclusion: first Paleo-Indian group to migrate preceded Clovis by 20,000 years
This group would not have had the difficult journey of navigating through glacial ice sheets because they arrived
the peak of the last Ice Age
now considered central and southern Mexico
responsible for the creation and agricultural engineering of tomatoes, maize, peppers, squashes, and beans
thought to have jump-started Andean invention

Maize agriculture
central part of modern Mexican cuisine and culture
modern Oaxaca community dependence
would eventually travel throughout the Americas - Andes to Maine
milpa - translates to "maize field”
refers to a field where dozens of crops are planted in one place
"companion planting"
hombres de maíz
built on four narrow river valleys — aside from rivers are very unfriendly to agriculture
Chincorro — part of the Andes civilizations
earliest archeological records from 10,000 BC
began mummifying bodies sometime before 5,000 BC
so well preserved that scientists have been able to extract DNA
painted and kept on display
only seafood diet — lead to anemia and specific types of tape worms
home of the first apartment complexes found by Ruth Shady Solis
large monuments created cities

led to very successful cotton farming
allowed people to begin trading food and cotton within Norte Chico
Norte Chico
some travel between societies, but little sharing of inventions
geographical profile did not allow for communication or easy travel between the Andes and Mesoamerica
three major factors were shared the Andes civilizations by the Mesoamericans:
sense of invention with purpose
Spreading Knowledge, Invention, and Disease
Full transcript