First Peoples in a New World

Author: David J. Meltzer
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520943155
Release Date: 2009-05-27
Genre: Social Science

More than 12,000 years ago, in one of the greatest triumphs of prehistory, humans colonized North America, a continent that was then truly a new world. Just when and how they did so has been one of the most perplexing and controversial questions in archaeology. This dazzling, cutting-edge synthesis, written for a wide audience by an archaeologist who has long been at the center of these debates, tells the scientific story of the first Americans: where they came from, when they arrived, and how they met the challenges of moving across the vast, unknown landscapes of Ice Age North America. David J. Meltzer pulls together the latest ideas from archaeology, geology, linguistics, skeletal biology, genetics, and other fields to trace the breakthroughs that have revolutionized our understanding in recent years. Among many other topics, he explores disputes over the hemisphere's oldest and most controversial sites and considers how the first Americans coped with changing global climates. He also confronts some radical claims: that the Americas were colonized from Europe or that a crashing comet obliterated the Pleistocene megafauna. Full of entertaining descriptions of on-site encounters, personalities, and controversies, this is a compelling behind-the-scenes account of how science is illuminating our past.

First Peoples in a New World

Author: David J. Meltzer
Publisher:
ISBN: 0520250524
Release Date: 2009
Genre: History

"Meltzer's compelling account of the data and the debates takes readers behind the scenes of the often contentious arguments that have redirected the scientific pursuit of the first Americans."--Tom D. Dillehay, author of The Settlement of the Americas "In remarkably comprehensive and lucid fashion, Meltzer synthesizes the complex and commonly conflicting evidence for the earliest human presence in the Americas and provides an honestly told lesson about the workings of scientific thought."--David Hurst Thomas, author of Skull Wars "A natural storyteller, David Meltzer gives us a vivid picture of both the colonizing bands of humans who moved into the Americas and the researchers who followed their footsteps from Alaska to Chile. This is an insider's account, told with a keen eye and sense of humor, as if Meltzer were there when discoveries were made and when disputes were aired--as, indeed, he often was."--Ann Gibbons, author of The First Human: The Race to Discover our Earliest Ancestors "The settling of the Americas has been a first-rate scientific puzzle since Columbus stumbled across the peoples of the Caribbean. David Meltzer is its ideal chronicler: a major participant in the research that is unlocking the mystery and a fine writer with a wry humor. Thank goodness there aren't too many scientists like him--science journalists like me would be out of business."--Charles C. Mann, author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

Atlas of a Lost World

Author: Craig Childs
Publisher: Pantheon
ISBN: 9780307908667
Release Date: 2018-05-01
Genre: History

From the author of Apocalyptic Planet comes a vivid travelogue through prehistory, that traces the arrival of the first people in North America at least twenty thousand years ago and the artifacts that tell of their lives and fates. In Atlas of a Lost World, Craig Childs upends our notions of where these people came from and who they were. How they got here, persevered, and ultimately thrived is a story that resonates from the Pleistocene to our modern era. The lower sea levels of the Ice Age exposed a vast land bridge between Asia and North America, but the land bridge was not the only way across. Different people arrived from different directions, and not all at the same time. The first explorers of the New World were few, their encampments fleeting. The continent they reached had no people but was inhabited by megafauna—mastodons, giant bears, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, five-hundred-pound panthers, enormous bison, and sloths that stood one story tall. The first people were hunters—Paleolithic spear points are still encrusted with the proteins of their prey—but they were wildly outnumbered and many would themselves have been prey to the much larger animals. Atlas of a Lost World chronicles the last millennia of the Ice Age, the violent oscillations and retreat of glaciers, the clues and traces that document the first encounters of early humans, and the animals whose presence governed the humans’ chances for survival. A blend of science and personal narrative reveals how much has changed since the time of mammoth hunters, and how little. Across unexplored landscapes yet to be peopled, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light.

Across Atlantic Ice

Author: Dennis J. Stanford
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520275782
Release Date: 2013-06-03
Genre: Social Science

Argues that the Solutrean culture of coastal Spain and the European Atlantic Shelf was the ancestral industry to the North American Clovis industry.

Bones Boats Bison

Author: E. James Dixon
Publisher: UNM Press
ISBN: 0826321380
Release Date: 1999
Genre: History

This revolutionary archeological synthesis argues an alternative model of the earliest human population of North America. E. James Dixon dispels the stereotype of big-game hunters following mammoths across the Bering Land Bridge and paints a vivid picture of marine mammal hunters, fishers, and general foragers colonizing the New World. Applying contemporary scientific methods and drawing on new archeological discoveries, he advances evidence indicating that humans first reached the Americas using water craft along the deglaciated Northwest Coast about 13,500 years ago, some 2,000 years before the first Clovis hunters. Dixon's rigorous evaluation of the oldest North American archeological sites and human remains offers well-reasoned hypotheses about the physical characteristics, lives, and relationships of the First Americans. His crisply written analysis of scientific exploration is essential reading for scholars, students, and general readers.

Lost World

Author: Tom Koppel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439118009
Release Date: 2010-05-11
Genre: Science

For decades the issue seemed moot. The first settlers, we were told, were big-game hunters who arrived from Asia at the end of the Ice Age some 12,000 years ago, crossing a land bridge at the Bering Strait and migrating south through an ice-free passage between two great glaciers blanketing the continent. But after years of sifting through data from diverse and surprising sources, the maverick scientists whose stories Lost World follows have found evidence to overthrow the "big-game hunter" scenario and reach a new and startling and controversial conclusion: The first people to arrive in North America did not come overland -- they came along the coast by water. In this groundbreaking book, award-winning journalist Tom Koppel details these provocative discoveries as he accompanies the archaeologists, geologists, biologists, and paleontologists on their intensive search. Lost World takes readers under the sea, into caves, and out to the remote offshore islands of Alaska, British Columbia, and California to present detailed and growing evidence for ancient coastal migration. By accompanying the key scientists on their intensive investigations, Koppel brings to life the quest for that Holy Grail of New World prehistory: the first peopling of the Americas.

The Great Paleolithic War

Author: David J. Meltzer
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226293363
Release Date: 2015-11-03
Genre: Science

Following the discovery in Europe in the late 1850s that humanity had roots predating known history and reaching deep into the Pleistocene era, scientists wondered whether North American prehistory might be just as ancient. And why not? The geological strata seemed exactly analogous between America and Europe, which would lead one to believe that North American humanity ought to be as old as the European variety. This idea set off an eager race for evidence of the people who might have occupied North America during the Ice Age—a long, and, as it turned out, bitter and controversial search. In The Great Paleolithic War, David J. Meltzer tells the story of a scientific quest that set off one of the longest-running feuds in the history of American anthropology, one so vicious at times that anthropologists were deliberately frightened away from investigating potential sites. Through his book, we come to understand how and why this controversy developed and stubbornly persisted for as long as it did; and how, in the process, it revolutionized American archaeology.

A Cold Welcome

Author: Sam White
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674981348
Release Date: 2017-10-16
Genre: History

When Europeans arrived in North America, the average global temperature had dropped to lows unseen in millennia and its effects—famine, starvation, desperation, and violence—were stark among colonists unprepared to fend for themselves. This history of the Little Ice Age in North America reminds us of the risks of a changing and unfamiliar climate.

Shamans of the Lost World

Author: William F. Romain
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0759119058
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Religion

Shamans of the Lost World examines the archaeological evidence of Hopewell peoples to deepen our understanding of their practice of shamanism.

Cahokia the Great Native American Metropolis

Author: Biloine W. Young
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252068211
Release Date: 2000
Genre: History

This is the story of North America's largest archaeological site, told through the lives, personalities, and conflicts of the men and women who excavated and studied it.

Paleoamerican Odyssey

Author: Kelly E. Graf
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 9781623492335
Release Date: 2014-08-20
Genre: Social Science

As research continues on the earliest migration of modern humans into North and South America, the current state of knowledge about these first Americans is continually evolving. Especially with recent advances in human genomic studies, both of living populations and ancient skeletal remains, new light is being shed in the ongoing quest toward understanding the full complexity and timing of prehistoric migration patterns. Paleoamerican Odyssey collects thirty-one studies presented at the 2013 conference by the same name, hosted in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University. Providing an up-to-date view of the current state of knowledge in paleoamerican studies, the research gathered in this volume, presented by leaders in the field, focuses especially on late Pleistocene Northeast Asia, Beringia, and North and South America, as well as dispersal routes, molecular genetics, and Clovis and pre-Clovis archaeology.

They Make Themselves

Author: Jane Fajans
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226234444
Release Date: 1997-08-04
Genre: Social Science

For generations of anthropologists, the Baining people have presented a challenge, because of their apparent lack of cultural or social structure. This group of small-scale horticulturists seems devoid of the complex belief systems and social practices that characterize other traditional peoples of Papua New Guinea. Their daily existence is mundane and repetitive in the extreme, articulated by only the most elementary familial relationships and social connections. The routine of everyday life, however, is occasionally punctuated by stunningly beautiful festivals of masked dancers, which the Baining call play and to which they attribute no symbolic significance. In a new work sure to evoke considerable repercussions and debate in anthropological theory, Jane Fajans courageously takes on the "Baining Problem," arguing that the Baining define themselves not through intricate cosmologies or social networks, but through the meanings generated by their own productive and reproductive work.

The Eastern Archaic Historicized

Author: Kenneth E. Sassaman
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
ISBN: 0759119902
Release Date: 2010-08-16
Genre: Social Science

This book explores the 8,000 years of hunter-gatherer life in eastern North America, reinterpreting the prehistory of the indigenous peoples living east of the Mississippi.

The First Americans

Author: Nina G. Jablonski
Publisher: University of California Press
ISBN: 0940228505
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Social Science

Leading scientists examine current archaeological, genetic, linguistic, and ecological evidence that could answer when, how, and where modern people first colonized the Americas.

Clovis

Author: Ashley M. Smallwood
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 9781623492281
Release Date: 2014-12-01
Genre: Social Science

New research and the discovery of multiple archaeological sites predating the established age of Clovis (13,000 years ago) provide evidence that the Americas were first colonized at least one thousand to two thousand years before Clovis. These revelations indicate to researchers that the peopling of the Americas was perhaps a more complex process than previously thought. The Clovis culture remains the benchmark for chronological, technological, and adaptive comparisons in research on peopling of the Americas. In Clovis: On the Edge of a New Understanding, volume editors Ashley Smallwood and Thomas Jennings bring together the work of many researchers actively studying the Clovis complex. The contributing authors presented earlier versions of these chapters at the Clovis: Current Perspectives on Chronology, Technology, and Adaptations symposium held at the 2011 Society for American Archaeology meetings in Sacramento, California. In seventeen chapters, the researchers provide their current perspectives of the Clovis archaeological record as they address the question: What is and what is not Clovis?