19-303 PRE-HISTORY OF SOUTH AMERICA
Sharon Cotter, Tuesdays 10 am - 12 noon
Sonoran Room: September 17, 24 October 1, 8, 15, 22
Many of us think we know a lot about the history of the world…. the rise of civilization in Mesopotamia, the Romans, the Greeks, the Chinese, early India; but that is only part of the story. South America has a history that goes back at least 10,000 years and perhaps as much as 30,000 years. It is not just Machu Picchu—one of the earliest civilizations developed at over 12,000 feet! The South Americans were not defeated by the Spanish Conquistadors but rather by the diseases that were brought to the new continent. There were over a million people in the Amazon when the first Spanish explorers arrived, but by the time the Conquistadors came, over 90 percent of the population had died from those diseases.
Some of the most amazing things participants will learn about this lost history is that while they didn’t have a written language, the people of South America built some of the most beautiful cities in the ancient world. Their agricultural science was way ahead of most cultures up until the current era. The pottery and textiles produced were some of the best in the world. The architecture that was developed would withstand virtually any earthquake. There were over 24,800 miles of roads created in some of the most challenging mountains in the world. The earliest mummies in South America date to 5050 BC, 2000 years before the mummies in Egypt. This and many more amazing facts will be included in this fascinating course on the Pre-History of South America.