Land of Vital Blood: Pre-Columbian America (Episode #26)

The Americas before Columbus were not an idyll frozen in time. They were a world of struggle and ambition, with a history just as complex and tumultuous as Europe’s. We trace how hunting-gathering peoples invented agriculture and built cities and empires that rose and fell across the centuries, all depending on human power, without the benefit of pack animals. We consider the shared norms and practices that seem to unite the diverse and far-flung peoples of the Americas, such as intensive multi-crop agriculture, fascination with astronomy and the calendar, and a highly formalized diplomatic language governing war and peace.

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