Pre-Columbian American Technology


The debate still runs on where the first Americans came from, with evidence supporting both arguments. The most common is the Bearing Straight, and the less common is by boat. But however they arrived is not that important. What is important is what they did, and how it affects today. When the Europeans came to the Americas, their first impression was that the people here were simple. But early Americans were anything but simple, they created.

Pre-Columbian America was deceiving in many ways to the early explorers. They looked simple, and primitive, but they had a lot of technology in their lives. Even if it did not look so. In North, Central, and South America there were builders, building buildings, mounds, and even fortresses that could be used during war. Many of these early people had some level of Civil Engineering Technology. From the building of waterways, roads, and maintaining water in arid climates.

All of these were done without the animals the Europeans used. as horses and cattle were introduced with the Europeans, and were not native in the Americas. The Americans also never developed wheels either, another European tool they worked without.

Agriculture as with any culture is a very important factor. Even with a hunter-gatherer culture, an understanding of this helps them plan their movements. But in the America’s many were rivaling the advancements of the European Agriculture technologies. Corn which started as a small grass with a husk about the size of a thumbnail, produced to a large cob before the Europeans came. Potatoes were also altered to a product that could feed large societies. Aztecs were building aqueducts, dams and dikes, to supply cities and farms, and control flooding. Aztec herbals listed medical and ceremonial plants. And there was much more.

What Pre-Columbian American Technology means for us today, is the introduction of new products. What the Europeans found from these people was a number of new foods that were easy to grow. Developed subspecies for various climates and altitudes. New dyes and materials for manufacturing clothing and medicines. But for these new technologies, the Europeans killed off many of these people before ever learning their secrets. Because of all the technologies the Pre-Columbian people developed, was all under manpower. As they never advance their husbandry to include horses and cattle, as they did not have these.

 

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