Class Notes (807,180)
Canada (492,652)
Geography (610)
GGR329H5 (19)

ggr329 Lec 8.doc

9 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto Mississauga
Pierre Desrochers

Lecture 8 GGR329 4. Case Studies 2) North America post 1492 Emerging consensus: - North America densely settled in 1491 - But native population later depleted St. Lawrence Valley - Hochelaga Cape Cod - Too crowded for Champlain - Empty for English settlers Puget Sound 192 (Smallpox) Human remains “promiscuously scattered about the beach, in great numbers.” Mississippi Valley De Soto expedition (1539 – 1543) Lands Tampa Bay (May 30, 1539) - 620 soldiers - 223 horses - 300 pigs Ransacked its way from - Florida to the Carolinas - Mississippi Valley to Texas De Soto encounters many cities and villages Lecture 8 GGR329 150 years later, Cavelier de LaSalle hardly meets anybody on his way down to Louisiana Amazon fruit trees: - Sapodilla, calabash, tucuma - Babacu, acai, wild pineapple, - Coco palm, American oil palm, panama hat palm Key issue: slash and burn agriculture - Impossible before steel axes - Introduced by Europeans Terra Preta: 10% Amazonia, size of france Black earth-like anthropogenic soil with enhanced fertility due to - High levels of soil organic matter (SOM) - Nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium Embedded in a landscape of infertile soils North America in 1491 probably not - Wood-covered land - Innumerable o Bisons o Pigeons o Grizzly bears Most places, wild life rare One Version… De Soto’s pigs probably escaped Lecture 8 GGR329 - Spread diseases to wildlife - Ultimately reached natives On the other hand - Not much archaeological evidence of large populations - De Soto’s men might have exaggerated… But if true… (Charles Kay, Utah State) - Humans = Keystone species - Their removal drastically alters ecosystems… - And our later perception of “original” states Passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) Population estimates 19 C th - From 1 to 5 billion individuals - Possibly most numerous birds on earth - Extinct in 1914 But was it always so, or even “natural”? Probably not. Why? - Remains rare in archaeological sites - Accounts indicate not abundant at time of earliest European settlements What could have led to a fantastic increase in their numbers? Pigeon’s used to compete for acorns with - Deer Lecture 8 GGR329 - Raccoon - Squirrel - Turkey - People But European settlement brought - New food sources (grain fields) - Important reduction in competition for acorn (less deer, raccoon…) Extinct since 1914… Wildlife explosion in California California from - 1769 (first Spanish mission) to - 1848 (US conquest) Like “earthly paradise”: - Extremely abundant wildlife animals - Often tame (not afraid of humans) - Hunting in most areas so easy that it is described as boring Traditional interpretations: - Ecologically Noble Savages Today (increasingly) - Post-epidemic wildlife irruptions Why? 1491: one of the most densely populated portions of North America Lecture 8 GGR329 - Natives mostly found o Coastal areas o Central valley - Wh
More Less

Related notes for GGR329H5

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.