One of the more eye opening books I have read in years is 1491 by Charles Mann. It is the history of pre-Columbian America that tells a story of advanced cultures and technologies unique to the Native American nations.
The insight that caught my attention was the fact that the time between the first European contacts and the first permanent European settlements was over 100 years (roughly 6 generations). During that time anywhere from 50 to 90% of the native population had been killed or, more commonly, died of European diseases. The peoples that the earliest colonist encountered were but a pale shadow of the nations of people that had populated the Americas a mere 100 years earlier.
Those encounters indelibly etched the Euro-American’s image of the Native Americans. The portrait was that of a primitive people with only the beginnings of culture and an uneventful history rather than the frayed remnants of once strong nations with highly developed, well organised cultures and a rich history.
The book is extremely well documented with an extensive bibliography and it covers not just culture and history but also geology, biology, medicine, agriculture and more – all relevant to the understanding to the pre-Columbian peoples.
This is a history you never got in American History classes – I highly recommend it – 5 stars out of 5.

Tags: American, Native, history

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I'm not sure I follow you. But if we start with the later form of Egyptian which had started to use phonetic symbolism to represent words, that evolved to the proto-Canaanite alphabetic writing system using many of the same symbols of the Egyptian hieroglyphics. The Proto-Canaanite was adopted by the Phoenicians. The Phoenician evolved to Aramaic, Brahman (Indian), Kufic (Arabic), Mongolian, Tibetan, Ethiopian, So.E. Asian, Greek, Roman/Etruscan, Runic, Cyrillic and all modern western alphabets.
Once the phonetic system was established, written language spread rapidly throughout the Mediterranean, Near East and Indian subcontinent
Well, I'm definitely no expert on it, but what I am trying to suggest is that the cultures must have separated way, way, way back in time, so how can anyone know for sure if that form of writing was something that was carried with them from their origins, or if it was something that arose spontaneously in an isolated culture. I can understand how cultures in close contact with one another would influence each other, but how can we account for influences between the old and new worlds? It strikes me as a possibility that both forms of writing could have evolved independently, as it seems that people across the globe have evolved pretty much at the same pace, even though they had no contact with one another. Can that not be a possibility?
The Tzapotecan hieroglyphs did evolve independently from the old world systems probably around 1000 BCE.

I loved that book.  maybe it's time for a re-read!  On youtube video, watching now....



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