America Before Columbus

Summer 1492, after three months at sea The Santa María, The Pinta and The Niña anchor off the Bahamas, and with this Europe has found the Americas, next comes conquest and colonisation by settlers who remake America in their image.

They advance and they destroy, but there is another story about the animals and the plants they bring here and the natural treasures they find here and how the Americas are completely transformed. It all began 500 years ago.

In 1491, more people lived in the Americas than in Europe. The first conquistadors were sailors and adventurers. In 1492, the Americas were not a pristine wilderness but a crowded and managed landscape. The now barren Chaco Canyon was once covered with vegetation. Along with crops like wheat, weeds like dandelion were brought to America by Europeans.

It’s believed that the domestication of the turkey began in pre-Columbian Mexico, and did not exist in Europe in 1491. By 1500, European settlers and their plants and animals had altered much of the Americas’ landscape. While beans, potatoes, and maize from the Americas became major crops in continental Europe.

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