History of ancient America

An American pyramid
An example of the pyramids of the Americas in the last 2500 years
The history of America has remained almost untouched before Europeans arrived there, so that new parts of it are revealed every year.

The first humans who arrived in the Americas were part of the wave of people who slowly crossed Africa and went to other continents. Some of these people first migrated to Asia and Europe about one hundred thousand years ago. At one time, small groups of these people reached the Pacific Ocean and even crossed the ocean and reached Australia. About fourteen thousand years ago or a little earlier, human groups passed through Asia and reached the American continent.

These human groups, like other groups of that time, had the art and skill of survival and also owned stone, bone and wooden tools. In the same way, they had a very important culture of living together, which, as a result, provided them with a place in the world. But they had not yet achieved agriculture and were not familiar with the winding roads that are called civilization in today's life.

From Aztec Crafts
During the thousands of years before the discovery of America by European explorers in 1492, the people known today as Native Americans or Indians evolved in complete isolation from the rest of the world. The separation of these natives does not mean that they all remained the same. Various communities emerged among them. Some groups of them evolved in their own way and with their own special talents, some groups were also destroyed and disappeared...

The different peoples and tribes of the two American continents each had their own history, just like the Europeans. Each group had its own creation legend, a legend that related the people of that group to the same part of their land. The elderly in All native communities were the custodians of past memories. They tried to keep traditions and meaningful events alive with stories, songs, poems and ceremonies. In addition to that, objects were also representative of the past. A chapeg might be their ancestor who made a chapeg. He remembered the smoking and smoking of tobacco by those people, respecting the spirit of the ancestors...

The Arrival of the Europeans

A Native American woman
One of the terrible effects of the arrival of Europeans in America was the denial of the importance and even the glorious history of the natives in America.

Since the traditions of the two American continents were very different from the traditions of Europe, it was almost impossible for Europeans to understand that these people had a history for themselves, people who even had a valid method to record their history. The historical records of the natives that existed in the form of objects, writings or images were often "destroyed" by the Europeans. Because it was not according to their religious taste and way of thinking. History was passed on by adults and the elderly to the young, but when disease, war, and forced displacement disrupted the work of raising children and tribal rituals, history lost its color. Therefore, within a few generations after the arrival of the Europeans, the major part of American history was lost.

However, this bitter truth is not the end of the story, despite the destruction of the past of these people, the natives managed to keep their history alive in various ways. This history manifests itself in place names, songs, family stories, myths and customs... The history of ancient America lives on in very ancient objects that are kept in private collections or in museums.

Article based on the book Ancient America written by Catherine J. Long
May 30, 2022