Sometimes on the internet - well, actually often, - one encounters `facts' which challenge the imagination and assumptions one has about the world. And, when this link - http://www.aolnews.com/science/article/wva-stalagmite-points-to-surprising-carbon-footprint/19443425 mentioned that "There may have been far more people, too, than was previously thought. Some modern estimates put the population of pre-Columbian America at above 100 million; in his book "1491," author Charles C. Mann suggests that there may even have been more people living in America than in Europe." I was astonished.
So, I took a look at Mr. Mann's book - 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus - indeed, I `searched' his book for this 100 million figure -- and could never find it. That said, I found the `method' that was used for the estimate - and it had to do with the `die-off' that would happen when populations are destroyed by new viruses and such that they have no defense against. And, using that method - I saw estimates in the book as high as 25 million as the population but NOT 100 million. Perhaps it is there, somewhere, in the book. Even 25 million almost blows my mind.
This is the original paper by the Ohio University prof that is sited in the AOL link - http://www.ohio.edu/research/communications/na_impact.cfm talking about the impact that native Americans had on the environment - all based on the sediment in local streams and the stalagmite found in a cave in West Virgina. Some super Barf Stew today and well worth today's Barf Stew Tag.
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