But when it comes to the timing, magnitude, and effects of this depopulation—it depends on who you ask. Many scholars claim that disease struck the native population shortly after their first contact with Europeans, and spread with such ferocity that it left tell-tale fingerprints on the global climate.
Others, however, argue that—though still devastating—the process was far more gradual, and took place over many years. A new Harvard study, however, suggests both theories are wrong Led by Matt Liebmann, the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Anthropology, a team of researchers was able to show that, in what is now northern New Mexico, disease didn't break out until nearly a century after the first European contact with Native Americans, coinciding with the establishment of mission churches.
But when it did finally strike, the study shows, the effects of disease were devastating. In just 60 years, native populations dropped from approximately 6, to fewer than among the 18 villages they investigated. The study is described in a Jan. The death rate was staggeringly high—about 87 percent of the Native population died in that short period.
In addition, they're clearing the land for farming, so trees weren't growing there when these archaeological sites were inhabited.
But as people died off, the forests started re-growing and we start to see more forest fires. Though there is still wide debate about when this new epoch started, a number of researchers have pointed towhen—ice core records show—global CO2 levels dropped dramatically.
Standing walls at the ruins of an Ancestral Jemez village that was part of the published study. Roos, SMU "One of the 'Early Anthropocene' theories suggests that because Native Americans were being removed from the landscape on a massive scale, especially in the Amazon, they were no longer burning the forest for agriculture, and as the forest re-grew it sequestered carbon," Liebmann said.
To pull it off, Liebmann and colleagues turned to a technology known as LiDAR, which uses lasers to penetrate the dense forest cover and create a map of the region that, in some cases, is accurate down to the centimeter.
A photo of sampled fire-scarred tree that was part of the published study. TJ Ferguson, U Arizona "I thought my career would be standing on these sites with a surveying tool called a total station," Liebmann said.
This new technology is what made this study possible. Dating the sites—and in particular when villages may have been abandoned as the population dwindled—is far trickier. But for this project we didn't excavate the sites, so we couldn't recover the roof beams.
Instead, the dendrochronologists on our team looked at the inner rings of trees that are still growing on these sites to establish when they germinated. They found that tree growth took off between and When we get a cluster of dates in the same year period, that tells us that something happened at these villages to start these trees growing there.
Without humans in the region to clear trees for building materials, heating, cooking, and agriculture, the forest began to reclaim that territory, providing, literally, more fuel for fires. But as the forest started re-growing, much more widespread fires occurred.on Euro-American guilt about the depopulation and dispossession of Native lands and to dispel colonialist notions that precontact North America was a “howling wilderness” populated by dispersed groups of “nomads” (Krech.
Native American depopulation, reforestation, and fire regimes in the Southwest United States, – CE. The aftermath of Study shows how Native American depopulation impacted ecology Date: January 25, Source: Harvard University Summary: Among the Pueblo Indians of .
New World devastation “In the Southwest, first contact between native people and Europeans occurred in ,” said Matthew Liebmann, the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Anthropology. David S. Jones) Issue #2 Karen Lee @ History Professor Seiling M/W A.M.
March 4, Was disease a key factor in the depopulation of Native Americans in the Americas? In “Taking Sides,” issue 2, Colin G.
Calloway argues that key factor of the depopulation was through the epidemic diseases contact from Europeans. Depopulation. Native American History. Native Americans. History of the United States of America.
What was the key factor in the depopulation of Native Americans in the Americas? Update Cancel. Answer Wiki. 3 Answers. Mainly diseases to which the Native Americans had no immunity to, such as Small pox, measles, etc. Diseases such as these.