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My father was a close friend of Albert and Delvin Miller. A few years ago, while planning another visit to my alma mater and Meadowcroft, I was made aware of Dr. If you have an opportunity to listen to this gentleman speak, avail yourself of what is indeed a pleasurable experience.
Well spoken, well informed and articulate are adjectives which do little justice to the Doctor and his presentation material. Now for the content of the book. Not being a student of Archeology, I was reluctant to begin reading the book, thinking the information would be beyond my ken. Nothing of the sort occurred; I found the information fascinating and the story riveting. You do not need to be a scholar to read this book; simply have an interest in what may be the most important discoveries in the pre -Clovis American history.
Truly a classic work. Buy it and read it Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Finally, a no nonsense book about the earliest Americans. The basis and history of all prehistoric American studies right up to the present. Sadly, the institutional infighting that has dogged all of American science from its start is also on display here, and well documented. The author knows his stuff, is exacting and careful to do archaeology correctly, also combining other specializations to archaeology.
I don't know much about these study areas but the book was interesting and easy to read. One minor weakness was the author didn't seem to understand political bias and what lengths others are very willing to do and expect the same of anyone else. An example is the "Kennewick Man" political bias painted him as a Caucasian, the site was destroyed, and Native Americans lost primacy in many people's minds, the author seemed naive, was unable to see that the Scientists involved achieved their goals, and that using "K.
Otherwise this seemed a very good book. One person found this helpful.
This book goes beyond the main subject of the author's research. In my case that was good because it reviewed the whole history of the search and resulting theories about the first Americans. And in this case the term American stands for the whole western hemisphere. The ice ages, the age of the mammals, and the first incursions into the 'new' world are chronicled in detail.
I strongly recommend this book, and enjoyed it very much! There has, however, within just the past 30 years or so, a growing amount of evidence that suggests Clovis Man wasn't the first. Adovasio is savvy, sassy, and wise. Sep 18, James Loftus rated it liked it. This book isn't for everyone, but I'd recommend it if you like this general area. As Adavasio himself admits, most people neither know nor care about the controversy. Very frustrating, considering the price of books in Brazil.
Being a westerner U. I felt that the movement of people from Asia and to the NW, was somewhat ignored. This was in spite of the fact that by Cort s had encountered the Aztec empire and entered its capital, Tenochtitl n, a vast city grander and more beautiful, by accounts, than anything in contemporary Europe.
The Spanish thus had an early realization of the breadth of cultural diversity to be found in the New World, but even the Aztecs, with their own version of high society, did not fit well into the pigeonholes of European preconceptions. And it was only a few years after the Spanish arrival that even the Aztecs and Incas were reduced to peonage, their civilizations effectively razed. At the time, maps of much of the world outside Europe still reported that "there be monsters here," and stories abounded of creatures on distant shores who were part human, part animal.
Unicorns could still appear to those whose lives had been perfectly meritorious, and as late as the next century an English adventurer, Martin Frobisher, would return from an Arctic voyage with tales of gold and with the single horn of what he believed to be a sea unicorn an object we know as a narwhal tusk , which he presented to Queen Elizabeth.
Coming upon the shores of America, one might imagine, then, that creatures with so little by way of the trappings of civilization were people, yes, but people without souls, just as animals were without souls. Paracelsus, the brilliant sixteenth-century Swiss physician who is often thought of as the father of chemical medicine, believed that the aboriginal Americans were not "of the posterity of Adam and Eve" but had been created separately and were without souls.
The matter would continue to be debated for the remainder of the century by Spanish philosophers and papal theologians. Generally speaking, the men of the Church took the most benign view of the Indians, believing that the pope''s benevolent sway should be extended over the natives'' lives in order to save their souls. At the outset, Columbus commented that the Arawaks'' easygoing nature made them excellent candidates for enslavement, and the Spanish colonists saw them all as little more than useful chattels.
Some theologians cited Aristotle''s Politics to the effect that many people were born to be ruled over, and the Native Americans, having no "written laws, but barbaric institutions and customs," were among them-meaning that they could be enslaved or killed in order to bring them to Christ in the afterlife. People on the ground, however, typically took an even less benign view.
Amerigo Vespucci, sailing for the Portuguese, found the natives of South America to be hardly more than brutes, as well as worshipers of the Devil, given to cannibalism and other amoralities. Later, a Dominican missionary, Tom s Ortiz, perhaps by way of explaining the difficulty of his holy task, wrote the following description: On the mainland they eat human flesh. They are more given to sodomy than any other nation. There is no justice among them.
They have no respect either for love or for virginity. They are stupid and silly. They have no respect for truth, save when it is to their advantage. Most hostile to religion, dishonest, abject, and vile, in their judgements they keep no faith or law. I may therefore affirm that God has never created a race more full of vice and composed without the least mixture of kindness or culture. We here speak of those whom we know by experience.
Especially the father, Pedro de C rdoba, who has sent me these facts in writing. Depressingly enough, sentiments very much like these were heard throughout the ensuing centuries, even to the present. On the other hand, the Native Americans had their early champions as well, none more vigorous and devoted than the Spanish Fray Bartolom de Las Casas, who argued eloquently for the rights of the natives.
He claimed that the pope had no temporal or coercive power over the native populations, that the gospel should be preached to them but only peacefully, and that the conquistadors'' claims on the Indians'' land and persons were illegal. He saw all people, including the Native Americans, as humans in various stages of cultural development and thought the natives of the New World were probably quite ancient.
Las Casas had a good deal of influence on the powers back home, as did another cleric, the Dominican Bernardino de Minaya. Minaya deserted Pizarro in disgust and went to Rome to persuade Pope Paul III to issue a papal bull in that rejected the idea of Indians as mere brutes and declared them capable and desirous of embracing the Catholic faith.
Not only that, the bull proclaimed, even those Native Americans who chose not to follow Christ were not to be enslaved or have their property taken. This was too much. Bristling with secular outrage, Emperor Charles ordered all copies of the bull confiscated and prevailed on the pope to rescind the bull altogether.
For his efforts Minaya was thrown into jail by the head of his order. Even as late as , one sympathetic Spanish Jesuit missionary in Peru, Jos de Acosta, felt the need to denounce the "common opinion" that the natives of the New World were mere brutes without reason. They were barbarians-meaning non-Christian-to be sure, and Acosta attempted to put all barbarians into one of three categories. First were peoples such as the Japanese and Chinese, who had permanent governments, cities, commerce, and writing.