One of the most consequential eras in North American history was the Medieval Warm Period of 800-1300 CE, when the continent was shaped by climate change or – as its peoples then believed – controlled by gods of wind and water. A great religious movement swept Mesoamerica, the Southwest, and the Mississippi valley, sometimes because of worsening living conditions and sometimes by improved agricultural yields caused by global warming.
In this episode of Gone Medieval, Matt Lewis talks to archaeologist Dr. Timothy Pauketat, author of Gods of Thunder: How Climate Change, Travel, and Spirituality Reshaped Precolonial America. He has followed the footsteps of priests, pilgrims, traders and farmers led by the weather to migrate long distances to new lands.
This episode was edited and produced by Rob Weinberg.