1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus - Chapter 9: Amazonia Summary & Analysis

Charles C. Mann
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Summary

The lack of historical accounts of the pre-Colombian past makes it difficult to discover the secrets of times gone by. Much of the history of American Indians has come from European explorers and missionaries. However, many of these documents are shaded by biases and self-aggrandizement.

Modern anthropologists, archaeologists, geographers and historians believe that the Indians left their mark on the tropical forest. They are beginning to think that the Amazon rainforest was the result of interaction between the environment and humans. Perhaps early explorers like Gaspar de Carvajal did see heavily populated regions. Conservationists detest this theory; they cling to the idea that the rainforest was always pure and uninhabited. But signs point to the fact that the Indians of South and North America found ways to manage their environment to make it work for them.

Not all Amazonia rainforest is rainy. It...

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This section contains 1,025 words
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Buy the 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Study Guide
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