1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus is a 2005 non-fiction book by American author and science writer Charles Mann about the pre-Columbian Americas.
The book argues that a combination of recent findings in different fields of research suggests that human populations in the Western Hemisphere, the indigenous peoples of the Americas, were more numerous, had arrived earlier, were more sophisticated culturally, and controlled and shaped the natural landscape to a greater extent than scholars had previously thought.
For example, Mann takes issue with the notion that European technologies in the 17th century were more advanced that those of the Indians. He uses guns as on e of many examples. The Indians thought of them as "noisemakers", more difficult to aim than arrows. Indeed, John Smith of the Jamestown colony noted that "the awful truth..it could not shoot as far as an arrow could fly."