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In 181 le sue e led w"th his experiments and produced a specimen of supenor qual t>s and ?n 1822, he commenced manufacturing Patent Leather as an -tich^ o mer'chandise', which he continued until 1B31. The first Europeans to North America’s Eastern Woodlands remarked on a park-like, open forest, which was a hunter’s paradise.� That open forest was maintained by humans burning the undergrowth every year, which turned the woodlands into an environment conducive to feeding animals that humans could hunt and eat.� There is significant evidence that the Great Plains was an environment husbanded by humans over millennia, burning the plains regularly so forests could not recover, and turning it into the world’s biggest pasture, where bison, elk, and other edible animals could flourish.  � Similarly, the Ama zon may at least partly be a human-created biome.� It is controversial today, but there is persuasive evidence that the Amazon basin and vicinity was partly terraformed, millennia ago, on a scale so vast it is difficult for modern observers to even imagine, much less accept.� Thousands of square miles of the Amazon basin were terraformed by mixing ceramics into the soil, thereby creating a kind of super-soil, and ancient earthworks in the plains above the Amazon basin are so vast that it is challenging to imagine the civilization that wrought them.� As with nearly everywhere else in the New World, early European invaders described a thickly-populated Amazon, and the plants of the “wild” Amazon are highly unusual in their abundance of fruits, nuts, and other human-usable nourishment, which is strong evidence that the biome was transformed by humans millennia ago.� More than half of the Amazon's domesticated plant species (more than 100 of them) were trees that provided such bounty.� The Amazon rainforest may be the world’s largest garden.  History has sho wn that all cultures unravel when subjected to the stresses of disease, famine, warfare, and the like, especially when large fractions of the population die off.� Because European contact was so quickly and universally disastrous for Native Americans, what later chroniclers recorded were generally remnants of New World cultures that existed before Columbus.� What the New World was like before Europeans arrived will be a source of enduring controversy, but some pursuable evidence is the first contact accounts of Europeans in the New World.� The early Europeans to North America, whether they saw the Great Plains, the Eastern Woodlands, or California, described peoples who were not particularly hostile toward one another, even enemy tribes.  � Few early European observers left behind detailed descriptions of the New World they encountered, and those that do can have major deficiencies.� Columbus and Cort�s chronicled the first contacts between Europeans and the intact cultures in the Caribbean and Mesoamerica, but both chroniclers had agendas.� Although his journal is dominated with his quest for gold and how he might exploit the wealth of the discovered lands, Columbus regularly remarked on the incredible beauty of the islands and the happy, healthy, peaceful natives, and many of them did not know what weapons were.� He described the islands as an Edenic paradise and the natives its worthy inhabitants, and he was right.� Columbus and his invasions quickly destroyed it, however, so reconstructing that extinct culture has been a challenging task for modern anthropologists.
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