In the wake of contact: biological responses to conquest

C. S. Larsen, G. R. Milner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

97 Scopus citations


This volume presents an assessment of the biological responses of indigenous peoples to novel opportunities and challenges stemming from the arrival of newcomers from the Old World. Analyses of skeletal evidence, together with, in some instances, historical documents and/or other archaeological evidence, provide information on a variety of responses to contact including changes in population numbers, cultural behaviour, diet, health and disease. The subject area is that of the Americas of several hundred years ago; 9 out of the 15 chapters deal with sites in North America, but findings from Belize and Ecuador and, additionally, Polynesia, are also included. Much of the book focuses on native groups that come under the influence of Spain. Collectively, the contributors show that the biological effects of contact were highly variable, although many emphasise the devastating impact of settlers, especially in terms of introduced diseases. -V.J.Taverner

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIn the wake of contact
Subtitle of host publicationbiological responses to conquest
PublisherWiley-Liss, New York
ISBN (Print)0471305448, 9780471305446
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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