April 13, 2007

The Amazon Forest a Cultural Artifact

"Visitors are always amazed that you can walk in the forest here and pick fruit from trees. That's because people planted them. They're walking through old orchards."

Charles R. Clement, quoted by Charles C. Mann in 1491.

" [The new picture suggests that] for a long time clever people who knew tricks that we have yet to learn used big chunks of Amazonia nondestructively. Faced with an ecological problem, the Indians fixed it. Rather than adapt to Nature, they created it. They were in the midst of terraforming the Amazon when Columbus showed up and ruined everything."

Charles C. Mann, 1491.

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