>>5457>which was much more complex than colonizers initially believed.
more like>which was initially impressive and humbling to colonizers who proceeded to erase as much of it as possible because it made them feel insecure about their shitty architecture/agriculture and lack of hygiene
Early explorers tended to be impressed by the societies they encountered before disease and colonial genocide fucked it up.
People are sad about the Library of Alexandria burning, but we still have many if not most of the texts it contained there (because they "taxed" visitors by having them lend their texts to the library to copy, so it was largely not original texts)
. Meanwhile almost all of the writing that existed in the Americas (which most people aren't aware existed at all) was systematically destroyed by colonizers for being pagan etc.
For example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_codices
Also look into the more recent LiDAR scans of land in the Americas (and other places like Angkor Wat) finding far more extensive ruins that were originally known to exist. A lot of the past is hidden under soil that accumulated above it, but with laser scanning from aircraft it's now possible to reveal it.https://news.artnet.com/art-world/hidden-ancient-maya-city-discovered-lidar-1359307