For generations we learned myths about Native Americans: that they lived in widely scattered groups of hunter-gatherers and as low-level farmers, lacked science and technology, were at best simple people who had no history and never evolved, and at worst bloodthirsty savages.
But groundbreaking research is destroying these myths-and altering our perceptions. In the Andes, the Inca created an empire that stretched from Chile to the frontier of Colombia and included a messenger service and food warehouses. The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and painted streets and canals bustling with traders and religious tourists. In the Yucatan, the Maya carved whole cities out of forest; in the desert southwest, the Hohokam made the desert bloom. And throughout the hemisphere, native peoples from hundreds of distinct cultures practiced astronomy, invented the canoe and cotton clothes, transformed the Amazon into a vast orchard, and used thousands of plants-from avocado to zucchini, from corn to tobacco-destined to change the entire world.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 A Past Evolving Over Time 9
Chapter 2 Solving Prehistory's Mysteries 17
Chapter 3 Forgotten Cities 33
Chapter 4 Harvest 57
Chapter 5 Rubber Balls and Khipus 77
Web Sites 119