Sunday, March 27, 2022

It's Been All Downhill Since 1492

 We have all been told, ad nauseum, that Europeans brought Civilization to the New World.

I have read a book called 1491 a couple of times.

That book tells a rather different tale.

A couple of the most startling assertions from 1491 are that the tropical forests of South America were really human designed and controlled orchards and that in North America our native predecessors used fire to control undergrowth and overgrowth and create the vast grasslands that supported the buffalo which fed North America before Europeans; what looked to the invaders to be wasted unplowed ground was really an almost transcontinental pasture.

European invaders just couldn't see a really big picture, a failing that dogs us, their descendants, to the current moment.

Oh, also, there were an awful lot of people here before the Europeans introduced smallpox: when London was still a shanty town village there was a huge city on the site of what is today known as Oklahoma City.

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