Chaco Canyon. 1250 A.D
Monks Mound 900 A.D
Montezuma Castle, 1100 A.D
Temple Mound, 500 A.D
Just because they aren’t traditional western style buildings doesn’t mean they aren’t there. These are only a FEW examples of the monumental architecture built by Native Americans in the US. The “prehistory” of America is as vast and varied as whatever is in Europe.
People have been here for quite some time, they’ve only been white for 500 years
As an American studying archaeology this ask filled me with a seething rage
I never understand people who will travel so far to see Stonehenge or Roman ruins but completely discount Cahokia or Mesa Verde. There are SO MANY amazing ancient sites in America. And most of them are comparatively little-known and visited.
I think a difference in Europe is that they seem better at coexisting with their history – there are cities where you can see modern buildings next to ones from the Middle Ages. Our (surviving) ancient sites in the US aren’t in the middle of major population centers, which makes them easier to overlook. I don’t think that’s entirely a bad thing, preservation-wise, but it’s also not an excuse for forgetting they exist.
Folks I live in Atlantic Canada and I’m an hour away from an archaeological site complex that’s at least 11,000 years old, suspected to be 13,000 years old. That’s nearly three times older than the Great Pyramid at Giza. The Wabanaki are called the People of the Dawn for a reason. Come on.
There are multiple temple mounds within 10-20 minutes of me on the gulf coast of Florida that date back more than a millennium, and were actively inhabited areas before the Spanish showed up and committed genocide.
And a whole bunch of Native American people built around astrological events just like Stonehenge. Except they weren’t just using the solstices that happen every year. No, they were using the major lunar standstills which only happen every 18 years.
There are places where Native Americans were building cities without an agrarian lifestyle. Hunter gatherer cities! That is completely different from how western civilization developed! How cool is that! How aggressively does that up end the idea that hunter gatherers were inherently more primitive than agrairian cultures.
The fact that I didn’t learn about any of this until I was in my 30s and actively seeking this information in my own time is criminal.
Taos Pueblo has been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years (due to religious privacy, the people of Taos don’t tell the exact age to outsiders) and the buildings are built in the same way as they have been for that long.
It’s the same age as or even older than most medieval castles and people still call it home.
Exactly. America as a country has a very short history.
But the continent has a much longer one and none of it can be discounted. None of it.
Also, Cahokia is well worth a visit if you are ever in the area. Cahokia also has a henge! A wood henge, but still a henge, very similar to the ones built in northern Europe. It appears to have served a similar purpose. One of the circles has been restored/rebuilt so you can see what it looked like, more or less, although I would lay bets the original pillars were painted.
(Hrm. Was Stonehenge painted?)
Florida used to be COVERED in pre-columbian shell mounds, and most of them were demolished. Like for real a lot of our pre-columbian history has straight up been destroyed because it was in the way.