Fossil Legends of the First Americans (book)

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A pathbreaking account of how Indigenous Americans created rich mythologies to make sense of the fossil remains of dinosaurs and other extinct creatures.

Well before Columbus, Native Americans observed the enormous and mysterious petrified bones of extinct prehistoric creatures and sought to understand their transformations to stone.  In perspective creation stories filled with sophisticated insights - some of which anticipate modern scientific theories - dinosaurs, mammoths, pterosaurs, and marine reptiles were visualized as Giant Lizards, Monster Bears, Thunderbirds, and Water Monsters.  In this original and richly illustrated book, Adrienne Mayor draws on history, oral tales, and interviews as she takes us from Aztec and Inca fossil legends to the traditions of Iroquois, Navajo, Cheyenne, Sioux, Pawnee, and other groups.  The result is a vivid panorama of how humans explained fossils long before evolutionary theory.


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Additional Info

Additional Info

Adrienne Mayor
Book Details:
paperback, reprint 2023, 488 pages