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1491 Paper Essay

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Demo Schmidt
10/5/14
1491 Essay
Missing pages in Human History
There are two divergent theories of early civilizations populations in the Pre Colombian era. The first is that the area was covered with human life and, that villages and empires were believed to have blanketed the landscape. Furthermore these people are believed to have developed advanced societies structured with government and religion. These high counter theorists also believe that disease was responsible for the great emptiness of human density after Columbus arrived. The second theory is the hypothesis that there were very few people that resided in Pre Colombia thus diminishing the idea of mass death from disease and the great social achievements’ made by the Pre Colombian natives. In 1491, Charles Mann discusses the finer points of both sides, showing which side he agrees with as well as allowing the reader to develop their own ideas. This paper will explain both theories in detail, explain Mann’s personal leaning, and will end with my own thoughts about whether or not Pre Colombia was a populated region. The low counter argument is that there were fewer people in the Americas than believed to have been. This argument is supported by the facts that there are no records of births or deaths that have ever been found. Many low counters believe the low counting theory because of the lack of evidence from that early on in the Americas. Rudolph Zambardino states in 1491 that “the lack of direct data forces researchers into salvos of extrapolation.”1 Furthermore the only real data that anthropologists and historians ca...

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