By James West Davidson, Mark Lytle
For greater than twenty-five years, After the Fact has guided scholars via American heritage and the equipment used to check it. In dramatic episodes that circulation chronologically via American historical past, this best-selling e-book examines a huge number of subject matters together with oral proof, images, ecological info, motion pictures and tv courses, church and city documents, census facts, and novels. even if for an introductory survey or for a historic equipment direction, After in actual fact the suitable textual content to introduce readers, step-by-step, to the detective paintings and analytical ways historians use after they are literally doing historical past.
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Additional info for After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection
By the 1970s enough studies had been done to suggest that older esti mates of precontact population were markedly low. Rather than a popula tion of 8 to 14 million in North and South America, newer studies suggested anywhere from 57 to 112 million, 5 to 10 million of whom lived north of Mexico. If these figures are correct, when Columbus landed in 1492 on His paniola, that island alone was inhabited by as many as 7 or 8 million people, compared with about 6 to 10 million for all of Spain. ) The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, estimated to have held anywhere from 165,000 to 250,000 inhabitants, was larger than the greatest European cities of the day: Constantinople, Naples, Venice, Milan, and Paris.
But the "yellow" and "white" stones proved to be only bits of copper and mica. As for pearls, La Senora directed him to a mortuary, a sheltered building on stilts in which decomposing bodies of the nobility were kept in boxes. The stench was overpowering, but the mortuary had compensating rewards. In smaller woven-reed baskets were hundreds upon hundreds of pearls. De Soto and his men carried off approximately 200 pounds of them, apparently with the lady's blessing. Furthermore, the lady offered the expedition half of the village in which to make camp.
It had survived only by commandeering stores of food grown by the Indians, as it had done from the start. After three years of wandering in search of an empire to conquer, most of De Soto's men no longer had the original clothes on their backs. Modern paintings of the expedition show the conquistadors with the armored helmets, vest like leather jerkins, breeches, and boots. But by April 1542 native substitutes had replaced much of that equipment. From Indian blankets "were made loose coats and cassocks," one member of the expedition reported.