Re: New world populations

Eric Jones (
Mon, 19 Dec 1994 18:57:38 -0800 (PST)

Fagan makes guestimates about high population figures for pre-contact.
Who knows if it was 100 million, but given the tremendous cultural diversity
in North and South America and how it is reflected in the material culture
by way of monuments, agricultural efforts, urban planning, etc., I think
the evidence is in for millions living at any one time at least. I don't
think reading the old Spanish texts will illuminate the demographics of
Meso America much, but they do lend insight to military confrontation and
slavery. Physical anthropology gives the greatest testimony in the
examination of the dead probably. You know, diseases that ran rampent
through the lands, etc. I would say the Spanish inadvertenly caused the
greatest destructions by the diseases they brough with them. Of course,
the Americans got the Europeans rather good with Syphallus didn't they.
I'm not making an argument for kindly Spanierds, but I don't think we
should paint a picture of them murdering most of the population of the
Americas. good luck,