Student or Learner
Native American Histories before the conquest
As almost any Native American could have informed the first European adventurers, the peopling of American did not begin in 1492....Their social and cultural development over the period was as complex as any encountered in the so-called Old World...
What does this "encountered" mean? "encountered people"?
not a teacher
In this case, "encounter" means to "come upon", "experience".
"Their social and cultural development over the period was as complex as any that one would have come upon/experienced in the so-called Old World."