Read 1491 Online

Authors: Charles C. Mann,Peter (nrt) Johnson

Tags: #History

1491

 

 

 

CONTENTS

 

Cover Page

 

Title Page

 

Dedication

 

List of Maps

 

Preface

 
 

INTRODUCTION /
Holmberg’s Mistake

 

1. A View from Above

 

PART ONE /
Numbers from Nowhere?

 

2. Why Billington Survived

 

3. In the Land of Four Quarters

 

4. Frequently Asked Questions

 

PART TWO /
Very Old Bones

 

5. Pleistocene Wars

 

6. Cotton (or Anchovies) and Maize (Tales of Two Civilizations, Part I)

 

7. Writing, Wheels, and Bucket Brigades (Tales of Two Civilizations, Part II

 

PART THREE /
Landscape with Figures

 

8. Made in America

 

9. Amazonia

 

10. The Artificial Wilderness

 

CODA

 

11. The Great Law of Peace

 

Afterword to the Vintage Edition

 

Appendixes

 

A. Loaded Words

 

B. Talking Knots

 

C. The Syphilis Exception

 

D. Calendar Math

 

Notes

 

Bibliography

 

Map Credits

 

Illustration Credits

 

Acknowledgments

 

Charles C. Mann 1491

 

Also by Charles C. Mann

 

Acclaim for Charles C. Mann’s 1491

 

Copyright

 

 

For the woman in the next-door office—
Cloudlessly, like everything else

 

—CCM

 

 

 

NATIVE AMERICA, 1491 A.D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The seeds of this book date back, at least in part, to 1983, when I wrote an article for
Science
about a NASA program that was monitoring atmospheric ozone levels. In the course of learning about the program, I flew with a research team in a NASA plane equipped to sample and analyze the atmosphere at thirty thousand feet. At one point the group landed in Mérida, in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. For some reason the scientists had the next day off, and we all took a decrepit Volkswagen van to the Maya ruins of Chichén Itzá. I knew nothing about Mesoamerican culture—I may not even have been familiar with the term “Mesoamerica,” which encompasses the area from central Mexico to Panama, including all of Guatemala and Belize, and parts of El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, the homeland of the Maya, the Olmec, and a host of other indigenous groups. Moments after we clambered out of the van I was utterly enthralled.

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