1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Summary & Study Guide

Charles C. Mann
This Study Guide consists of approximately 51 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of 1491.
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1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Summary & Study Guide Description

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann.

Author Charles C. Mann is accompanying archaeologists Clark Erickson and William Balee on an expedition to South America. As they fly into the the remote Beni of Central Bolivia roads and houses begin to disappear. The Beni is covered half the year with a sheet of water from melting snow and the relentless rain. The scientists wanted to explore the region because it is one of the only places on earth whose inhabitants have never seen men with cameras. It is a region that is largely untouched by modernity but promises to be rich in the history of the eras before and even after 1491.

The archaeologists are seeking to answer mysteries for which solutions have thus far been elusive. They want to discover when the first Indians arrived in the area and where they migrated from. The answers are buried in time and in the hearts and minds of the Indians who lived for centuries in the Americas before the European “invasion.” The scientists who visit the area are focused on finding answers that may be found in broken pottery, long-ago abandoned cities and mummified corpses buried in mysterious earthen mounds.

Accepted science and conventional wisdom has taught us that these early Indians, referred to as paleo-Indians, who inhabited the Americas – North and South – were vapid, inane savages that were frozen in time. These Indians, according to scientists of yore, lived exactly the same for centuries without many or any advancements or innovations. They contributed absolutely nothing to toward the betterment of mankind.

There are different opinions that are gaining the advocacy of modern-day scientists that disagree with that description. They don’t base their disagreement on their own feelings or on speculation. Scientists and researchers have discovered relics and artifacts that paint an entirely different picture. Some of the most important innovations developed by the Indians were in agricultural processes and in the preservation of the woodlands.

Like an episode on CSI, the scientists are using mitochondrial DNA testing to learn the possible origin of the early Indians of the Americas. Sites have been discovered that prove the Indians lived in the Americas long before formerly thought. More sites have been discovered that predate even those discoveries. The subject of when and how the Indians arrived in the Americas is a controversial one and a matter that has more questions than answers.

One tip that the modern world can take from the paleo-Indians is that man should shape his environment to suit his needs but take precautions so that it is not destroyed. Many scientists are beginning to believe that the rainforest wasn’t a natural phenomenon but rather an invention of the Indians.

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This section contains 447 words
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Buy the 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Study Guide
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