6. Myth of Pristine Americas

6. Myth of Pristine Americas - Prof. Turner The Earth...

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Prof. Turner The Earth Transformed 9.18.07 I) Myth of the Pristine Americas Beringia: 10,000 – 15,000+ years ago (Bering Strait) Clovis: 11,500 years Monte Verde: 12,500 2) The Pristine Myth a Seeds of Change: “pre-Columbia America was still the first Eden, a pristine natural kingdom. The native people were transparent on the landscape, living as natural elements of the ecosphere . Their world, the New World of Columbus, was a world of barely perceptible human disturbance. b The Pristine Myth claims that the Americas found by Europeans was largely untouched – it was NATURE . c Thus change or “damage” to the pristine was European in origins 3) Sources of the Myth a Columbus referenced the magnificent forests of the West Indies (Antilles or Caribbean Islands) b Anglo cultural justification for the achievements of taming the West c 19 th century romanticist movement in U.S. = “untamed frontier” (i) Hudson River School of Art – really captures the idea of the “untamed” portions of nature (ii) Thoreau – writers warning about the destruction of nature 4) 1992 Columbian Quincentenary
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6. Myth of Pristine Americas - Prof. Turner The Earth...

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