Erickson and Balée belong to a cohort of scholars that has radically challenged conventional notions of what the Western Hemisphere was like before Columbus. When I went to high school, in the 1970s, I was taught that Indians came to the Americas across the Bering Strait about 12,000 years ago, that they lived for the most part in small, isolated groups, and that they had so little impact on their environment that even after millennia of habitation it remained mostly wilderness.
The 'sacred' rainforest concept is invented by postmodern new agers, who mourn its destruction - when in fact its a product of european contact/decimation?
Dunno if its true, but gold star. Amazing article in the Atlantic.
1491 - The Atlantic (March 2002)