Prehistoric America

Author : Betty Jane Meggers
ISBN : 9780202368139
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 28.42 MB
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During the past 30 years, the relationship between humans and the environment has changed more drastically than during any previous period in human history. Local sustainable exploitation of natural resources has been overridden by global interests indifferent to the detrimental impact of their activities on local environments and their inhabitants. Increasingly efficient technology has reduced the need for human labor, but improved medical treatment favors reproduction and survival, creating a growing imbalance between population density and food supply. Rapid transportation is introducing alien species to distant terrestrial and aquatic environments, where they displace critical elements in the local food chain. This succinct and profusely illustrated volume applies evolutionary and cultural theory to the interpretation of prehistoric cultural development in the western hemisphere. After reviewing cultural development in Mesoamerica and the central Andes, Meggers examines adaptation in North and South American regions with similar environments to evaluate the influence of adaptive constraints on cultural content. What made the human species dominant on the planet is the substitution of cultural behavior for biological behavior. Prehistoric Americans applied this ability to develop sustainable relationships with their environments. Many succeeded and others did not. Paleoclimatic reconstructions can be compared with archeological sequences and ethnographic descriptions to identify cultural behavior responsible for the difference. Comparison of the responses of Amaonians and Mayans to episodes of severe drought provides useful insights into what we are doing wrong. Betty J. Meggers has been a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution since 1951. She has conducted fieldwork in Brail, Guyana, Veneuela, and Ecuador. Her publications include archeological monographs, edited volumes, general books on Amaonia and Ecuador, and over 200 articles on cultural ecology, cultural diffusion, pottery analysis, and transpacific contact. Her contributions have been recognied by six honorary doctorates from universities in Brail, Argentina, and Ecuador.
Category: Social Science

The Texas Indians

Author : David La Vere
ISBN : 1585443018
Genre : History
File Size : 36.47 MB
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During an excavation in the 1950s, the bones of a prehistoric woman were discovered in Midland County, Texas. Archaeologists dubbed the woman “Midland Minnie.” Some believed her age to be between 20,000 and 37,000 years, making her remains the oldest ever found in the Western Hemisphere. While the accuracy of this date remains disputed, the find, along with countless others, demonstrates the wealth of human history that is buried beneath Texas soil. By the time the Europeans arrived in Texas in 1528, Native Texans included the mound-building Caddos of East Texas; Karankawas and Atakapas who fished the Texas coast; town-dwelling Jumanos along the Rio Grande; hunting-gathering Coahuiltecans in South Texas; and corn-growing Wichitas in the Panhandle. All of these native peoples had developed structures, traditions, governments, religions, and economies enabling them to take advantage of the land’s many resources. The arrival of Europeans brought horses, metal tools and weapons, new diseases and new ideas, all of which began to reshape the lives of Texas Indians. Over time, Texas became a home to horse-mounted, buffalo-hunting Apaches, Comanches, and Kiowas and a refuge for Puebloan Tiguas, Alabama-Coushattas, Kickapoos and many others. These groups traded, shared ideas, fought and made peace with one another as well as peoples outside of Texas. This book tells the story of all of these groups, their societies and cultures, and how they changed over the years. Author David La Vere offers a complete chronological and cultural history of Texas Indians from 12,000 years ago to the present day. He presents a unique view of their cultural history before and after European arrival, examining their interactions—both peaceful and violent—with Europeans, Mexicans, Texans, and Americans. This book is the first full examination of the history of Texas Indians in over forty years and will appeal to all of those with an interest in Native Americans and the history of Texas.
Category: History

1491 Second Edition

Author : Charles C. Mann
ISBN : 0307278182
Genre : History
File Size : 86.63 MB
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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. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: History

Historical Dictionary Of Native American Movements

Author : Todd Leahy
ISBN : 9781442268098
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 86.38 MB
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This second edition of Historical Dictionary of Native American Movements contains a chronology, an introduction, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 200 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, language, religion, politics, and the environment.
Category: Social Science

Land Of Smoke And Mirrors

Author : Vincent Brook
ISBN : 9780813554587
Genre : History
File Size : 77.15 MB
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Unlike the more forthrightly mythic origins of other urban centers—think Rome via Romulus and Remus or Mexico City via the god Huitzilopochtli—Los Angeles emerged from a smoke-and-mirrors process that is simultaneously literal and figurative, real and imagined, material and metaphorical, physical and textual. Through penetrating analysis and personal engagement, Vincent Brook uncovers the many portraits of this ever-enticing, ever-ambivalent, and increasingly multicultural megalopolis. Divided into sections that probe Los Angeles’s checkered history and reflect on Hollywood’s own self-reflections, the book shows how the city, despite considerable remaining challenges, is finally blowing away some of the smoke of its not always proud past and rhetorically adjusting its rear-view mirrors. Part I is a review of the city’s history through the early 1900s, focusing on the seminal 1884 novel Ramona and its immediate effect, but also exploring its ongoing impact through interviews with present-day Tongva Indians, attendance at the 88th annual Ramona pageant, and analysis of its feature film adaptations. Brook deals with Hollywood as geographical site, film production center, and frame of mind in Part II. He charts the events leading up to Hollywood’s emergence as the world’s movie capital and explores subsequent developments of the film industry from its golden age through the so-called New Hollywood, citing such self-reflexive films as Sunset Blvd., Singin’ in the Rain, and The Truman Show. Part III considers LA noir, a subset of film noir that emerged alongside the classical noir cycle in the 1940s and 1950s and continues today. The city’s status as a privileged noir site is analyzed in relation to its history and through discussions of such key LA noir novels and films as Double Indemnity, Chinatown, and Crash. In Part IV, Brook examines multicultural Los Angeles. Using media texts as signposts, he maps the history and contemporary situation of the city’s major ethno-racial and other minority groups, looking at such films as Mi Familia (Latinos), Boyz N the Hood (African Americans), Charlotte Sometimes (Asians), Falling Down (Whites), and The Kids Are All Right (LGBT).
Category: History

First Peoples In A New World

Author : David J. Meltzer
ISBN : 0520943155
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52.53 MB
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More than 12,000 years ago, in one of the greatest triumphs of prehistory, humans colonized North America, a continent that was then truly a new world. Just when and how they did so has been one of the most perplexing and controversial questions in archaeology. This dazzling, cutting-edge synthesis, written for a wide audience by an archaeologist who has long been at the center of these debates, tells the scientific story of the first Americans: where they came from, when they arrived, and how they met the challenges of moving across the vast, unknown landscapes of Ice Age North America. David J. Meltzer pulls together the latest ideas from archaeology, geology, linguistics, skeletal biology, genetics, and other fields to trace the breakthroughs that have revolutionized our understanding in recent years. Among many other topics, he explores disputes over the hemisphere's oldest and most controversial sites and considers how the first Americans coped with changing global climates. He also confronts some radical claims: that the Americas were colonized from Europe or that a crashing comet obliterated the Pleistocene megafauna. Full of entertaining descriptions of on-site encounters, personalities, and controversies, this is a compelling behind-the-scenes account of how science is illuminating our past.
Category: Social Science

Canada S Diverse Peoples

Author : J. M. Bumsted
ISBN : 9781576076729
Genre : History
File Size : 75.33 MB
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Traces the cultural history of Canada, discussing social, economic, and political struggles and providing past and present ethnic situations.
Category: History

Across Atlantic Ice

Author : Dennis J. Stanford
ISBN : 9780520227835
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 51.71 MB
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Argues that the Solutrean culture of coastal Spain and the European Atlantic Shelf was the ancestral industry to the North American Clovis industry.
Category: Social Science

A Companion To Latin American History

Author : Thomas H. Holloway
ISBN : 144439164X
Genre : History
File Size : 76.70 MB
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The Companion to Latin American History collects the work of leading experts in the field to create a single-source overview of the diverse history and current trends in the study of Latin America. Presents a state-of-the-art overview of the history of Latin America Written by the top international experts in the field 28 chapters come together as a superlative single source of information for scholars and students Recognizes the breadth and diversity of Latin American history by providing systematic chronological and geographical coverage Covers both historical trends and new areas of interest
Category: History