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Discussing Cultures of the New World/Amazon

Hi, I need some help on finding out the prehistoric society around the Amazon. In order to answer this, I need to discuss the following questions:

1. How are scholars able to find out how early people with no written records lived?
2. What was the prehistoric society like around the Amazon?
3. What ensured European domination in the New World?
4. How do you think an entire prehistoric group of people could simply disappear, such as the people around the Marajo of the Amazon?

Please list any references or web sources used.

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Dear Student,
Hello. The solution below should get you started. You can also use the listed references for further studies. Good luck and thank you for using Brainmass.

Studying the Past:

Historians employ a host of tools and methods to study unwritten past. In the Amazon for example, anthropologists and historians employ ethnographic methods of research to study cultural practices and their origins. Consider the oral histories for example. The Incas were prolific practitioners of preserving memory and history via oral recitation and memorization. Inca elders and Inca wisemen would learn then teach 'histories' and 'genealogies' in forms of poems, stories and songs. Additionally, surviving myths plus archaeological evidence (i.e. ruins like the Macchu Picchu, patterns and pictographs in potteries and clothes, etc.) reveal the way of life of the Incas, their world view and how they live. In a way, social and natural science disciplines can be explored and employed to find out about the way people lived in the past despite the non-existence of written records. Oral histories, folktales, the design and materials plus lay-out of ruins, details and artifacts from tombs and graves, archaeological and anthropological evidence can all be used to put together a more or less accurate picture of how a group of people lived in the past plus the kind of environment they lived in.

Prehistoric Society in the Amazon:

Prehistoric tribes around the Amazon centered and depended their lives upon the bounty of the forest and the river. Tribes in the forest where either nomadic or semi-nomadic with the latter practicing slash and ...

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