A new generation of anthropologists and archaeologists is saying that "the Americas in 1491 were not a wilderness. They were a huge, special garden, planned and maintained by the active efforts of a wildly diverse range of societies. Environmentalists tend not to like this line of argument, because to them it implies that there is no preferred "natural" stateso let the bulldozers rip. If it is true that the pre-Columbus Americas had tens of millions of people and highly developed civilizations, what happened? Why were there so few traces when the conquistadors and the colonists began to arrive in earnest? One demographer has estimated, that 'in the first 130 years of contact about 95 percent of the people in the Americas diedthe worst demographic calamity in recorded history.'"
Thanks to Terry Mock