- ›› Keywords : Epidemics
Millions of years ago, continental drift carried the Old World and New Worlds apart, splitting North and South America from Eurasia and Africa. That separation lasted so long that it fostered divergent evolution. The artificial re-establishment of connections through the commingling of Old and New World plants, animals, and bacteria, commonly known as the Columbian Exchange, is one of the more spectacular and significant ecological events of the past millennium.
Charles Mann, author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus (Knopf, 2005), looks at new research on the population density of pre-Columbian America.
Much of what is known about early Wampanoag history comes from archaeological evidence, the Wampanoag oral tradition (much of which has been lost), and documents created by seventeenth-century English colonists.
The Wampanoag people have lived in southeastern New England for thousands of years. In 1600 there were as many as 12,000 Wampanoag who lived in forty villages. Both oral tradition and archaeological evidence suggests that Native peoples lived in the area for 10,000 years. Wampanoag...