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Mexico, central america, and the caribbean

By 7,000 B.C. in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico there were people living in rock shelters and using stone cooking pots which were left in the center of the hearth. Maize was used in the same valley between 6,000 and 5,000 B.C. and at some point the turkey was domesticated. Before the development of pottery some peoples may have used animal stomachs as liquid containers to hang over fires. In the same valley there is evidence of the use of six food resources--the maguey plant, cactus fruits (prickly pear), tree legumes like the mesquite, wild grasses, deer and rabbits. Cultivated plants probably made up only 5% of the diet, as opposed to 54% from hunting and 41% from collecting wild plants. The common bean and maize were introduced into the valley about 5,000 B.C. Maize apparently went under considerable genetic change with cultivation, but since it lacks an important amino acid, it was fortunate for the Indians that it was eaten in connection with beans, which supplied the deficit. (See also Africa in the 16th century C.E. ). There was squash in the Mexican highlands before 5,000 B.C. (Ref. 211 , 209 )

South america

As early as 8,000 B.C. the need for artistic expression apparently existed in the high Andes. We mentioned in the last chapter that prehistoric people had painted clothing, but now we can add necklaces, bracelets, carved pendants and geometrically marked bones, painted green. These people ate prickly pear cactus, alder seeds, tomatoes and plants with rhizomes and tubers such as jiquimas, potatoes, ullucu and possibly manioc and sweet potatoes. There is also refuse of many land mammals such as bucks and roe deer, vixcahas, camelids and rodents, as well as the remains of fish. Although the caves were sixty miles from the ocean, marine mollusks have been found, suggesting that these men migrated at times to the seashore, probably living in the condensed fog oases called lomas , as the beach land otherwise is completely arid. By 7,000 B.C. there were all sorts of projectile points in Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. Long-headed human skeletons along with both extinct and modern animals have been found in Brazil dated to the same time.

Natives of both Americas are of extremely varied types. In South America there are people with Caucasian appearance but dark brown skin, along with Mongolian types with African faces, but of pale or sallow complexion. Big, straight non-aquiline noses are seen frequently near Cuzco in the high Andes, where non-Mongolian characteristics mix with true Asiatic ones. Many scholars such as Julian Steward, Paul Rivet, Miguel Covarrubias and Heine Gildern, as well as Heyerdahl and Fell, who will be mentioned often in this manuscript, are all coming to the conclusion that transoceanic voyages from southern Asia, Polynesia, even Australia or Africa, have helped people the New World since the Bering Strait migration. The early men of 8,000 to 4,000 B.C. unearthed in the excavations of Professor Engel (Ref. 62 ) were all dolichocephals, prognathous, big-boned and tall, whereas the 16th century people found by the Spaniards were of only mediocre height, meso or brachycephalic with short limbs and slender frames.

By 6,000 B.C. some Andean populations were already advanced to the stage of comparable groups in the Near East, not yet true farmers or herders, but living a sedentary type of life, occupying well defined territories. On a south Peruvian plain between mountain spurs, inland from the coast at about the 16th parallel, there were hundreds of inhabitants using water from now dry wadis. Seashore villages of the same millennium have also been found and because of the complete surface dessication, humans have been uncovered by simply brushing off the sand. They still have their clothes, skin and eyes after 7,000 to 9,000 years. Milling stones have been found in every hut and in graves, particularly in the Santa Valley of Peru and the eastern Andes. It is possible that llamas and alpacas began to be domesticated on the eastern slopes at about 6,000 B.C.

In the Columbia and Venezuela areas between 7,000 and 3,000 B.C. Meso-Indians lived, eating seafood, berries, seeds, roots and tubers. Remnant now can be identified by the large mounds of shells, ashes and food debris. These northern South Americans were also navigators, for traces of the same people are found on all adjacent islands. Documentation regarding humid Chile and Argentina is lacking in this early period, although groups of pre-agriculturalists certainly occupied the western slope of the Chilean Andes at times about 8,000 B.C. although perhaps not continuously. It is possible that some fifty valleys in central Peru and arid Chile were inhabited by groups of up to 2,000 people before agriculture appeared on the coast. (Ref. 209 , 45 , 62 )

Excavations at Anangula Island in the Aleutian chain show evidence of settlement there around 7,000 B.C. Mummies on neighboring islands are wrapped in furs and woven grasses. (Ref. 310 )

Paleo-Indian skeletons, a man and boy with heads resting on turtle shells, found at Round Rock, Texas, have been dated at about 7000 B.C. (Ref. 298 )

Forward to America: 5000 to 3000 B.C.

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Questions & Answers

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
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nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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Source:  OpenStax, A comprehensive outline of world history. OpenStax CNX. Nov 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10595/1.3
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