- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Currently out of stock.
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
First Peoples in a New World: Colonizing Ice Age Americaby David J. Meltzer
Synopses & Reviews
"Meltzer's compelling account of the data and the debates takes readers behind the scenes of the often contentious arguments that have redirected the scientific pursuit of the first Americans."and#151;Tom D. Dillehay, author of The Settlement of the Americas
"In remarkably comprehensive and lucid fashion, Meltzer synthesizes the complex and commonly conflicting evidence for the earliest human presence in the Americas and provides an honestly told lesson about the workings of scientific thought."and#151;David Hurst Thomas, author of Skull Wars
"A natural storyteller, David Meltzer gives us a vivid picture of both the colonizing bands of humans who moved into the Americas and the researchers who followed their footsteps from Alaska to Chile. This is an insider's account, told with a keen eye and sense of humor, as if Meltzer were there when discoveries were made and when disputes were airedand#151;as, indeed, he often was."and#151;Ann Gibbons, author of The First Human: The Race to Discover our Earliest Ancestors
"The settling of the Americas has been a first-rate scientific puzzle since Columbus stumbled across the peoples of the Caribbean. David Meltzer is its ideal chronicler: a major participant in the research that is unlocking the mystery and a fine writer with a wry humor. Thank goodness there aren't too many scientists like himand#151;science journalists like me would be out of business."and#151;Charles C. Mann, author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
"It was long axiomatic among archeologists that the prehistoric Clovis people of the Southwest were the first people in the Americas, arriving 12,000 years ago. Meltzer synthesizes controversial recent evidence that humans arrived in the Americas earlier than that and may not all have come across the Bering Strait from Asia. Meltzer also conveys well the heated debates among archeologists on this crucial subject (an argument among experts after examining evidence in South American turns rather ugly). Drawing on archeology, linguistics, geology, genetics and other disciplines, anthropologist Meltzer (Search for the First Americans) explores that evidence, as well as what we know about the Clovis people, such as evidence regarding Ice Age terrain indicating prehistoric peoples' ability to adapt to an uninhabitable and unfamiliar continent, and the speed with which they might have moved across the new world. Sometimes dense and academic, often lively and occasionally bemused, Meltzer's study — part detective story and part archeological research — is stimulating and sometimes tantalizingly controversial. 16 color and 64 b&w illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Meltzer's compelling account of the data and the debates takes readers behind the scenes of the often contentious arguments that have redirected the scientific pursuit of the first Americans."--Tom D. Dillehay, author of "The Settlement of the Americas"
"In remarkably comprehensive and lucid fashion, Meltzer synthesizes the complex and commonly conflicting evidence for the earliest human presence in the Americas and provides an honestly told lesson about the workings of scientific thought."--David Hurst Thomas, author of "Skull Wars"
"This volume is an amazing summary of our current knowledge of the Americas' greatest contribution to world cuisine. Moving from maizeand#8217;s origin and spread through its transformation as an evolutionary and cultural partner with humanity, Michael Blake masterfully tackles a dizzying array of research from many disciplines to produce the definitive book about maize." --Paul E. Minnis, Professor of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma, and author of New Lives for Ancient and Extinct Crops
"As one of the foremost experts in the field, Michael Blake provides an insightful, well-written account of the archaeology, origins, and domestication of corn. He shares how recent techniques in ethnobotany, molecular biology, and direct dating have transformed our perceptions of its economic importance and biogeography, and his discussion of its pre-Columbian symbolic significance reveals why corn is so important today."
--John Staller, Botanical Research Institute of Texas, and coeditor of Histories of Maize
"Michael Blake is to be congratulated in showing how what must be one of the most farfetched human experiments in plant domesticationand#150;that of maizeand#150;was propelled by the mind-altering fermented beverage chicha, made first from the sugary juice of the cornstalk and later from the carbohydrate-rich kernels." --Patrick McGovern, author of Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages
Maize is the worldand#8217;s most productive food and industrial crop, grown in more than 160 countries and on every continent except Antarctica. If by some catastrophe maize were to disappear from our food supply chain, vast numbers of people would starve and global economies would rapidly collapse. How did we come to be so dependent on this one plant?
Maize for the Gods brings together new research by archaeologists, archaeobotanists, plant geneticists, and a host of other specialists to explore the complex ways that this single plant and the peoples who domesticated it came to be inextricably entangled with one another over the past nine millennia. Tracing maize from its first appearance and domestication in ancient campsites and settlements in Mexico to its intercontinental journey through most of North and South America, this history also tells the story of the artistic creativity, technological prowess, and social, political, and economic resilience of Americaand#8217;s first peoples.
About the Author
David J. Meltzer is Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory in the Department of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of Folsom: New Archaeological Investigations of a Classic Paleoindian Bison Kill (UC Press) and Search for the First Americans, among other books.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General