This is an extract of my article, with small photos. You will find the complete article with full-sized photos in my e-book As American as Apple Pie !
In the travel series View America, this book narrates events and facts that are common to the entire nation.
Man's migration to America, ancient Indian cultures, New France, the French and Indian War, the 13 original Colonies, the Louisiana Purchase, the Civil War, American territorial expansion, the American Flag, American holidays, and the lighter side of... old US Laws!
This e-book is illustrated with more than 70 full-sized photos and maps.
It is assumed that the out-of-Africa emigration of Homo Sapiens took place about 200,000 years ago. Some 50 to 70,000 years ago, during the next ice age, they migrated eastward to Korea and China, and westward to Europe. They followed their food, the animals, that moved to a better climate.
Because of the bitter cold the ocean's level had dropped considerably, and between Russia and America came into being a passage called Beringia. Between 40,000 and 18,000 years ago several nomadic groups crossed the glaciers of the frozen Bering Strait into North America.
DNA and mitochondria research suggests that this group at that time amounted to no more than 20 people! From there they spread across both north and south America.
It was long assumed that the Clovis culture, named after the first archeological discoveries around 1930 near Clovis, NM, represented the first human apparition in North America. However, archeological findings in Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Texas predate the Clovis culture and more recent findings near Austin, TX, indicate that a pre-Clovis culture existed, for at least as far back as 17,000 years ago.
It is now assumed that several groups may have crossed the Bering Strait during the last ice age, during a period between 40,000 and 18,000 years ago. Nevertheless, no information is yet known as to the nature of these pre-Clovis Paleo-Indians.
They were followed from around 11,000 BC by the Clovis Culture, that lasted until about 8,000 BC. These in turn were succeeded by the Archaic culture, that lasted until 2,500 BC.
Later came the Adena culture, sometimes erroneously called the Woodland culture, (1,000 to 200 BC), followed by the Hopewell tradition or the Hopewell Exchange (200 BC to 500 AD). The latter was not a culture, but rather a set of trade routes.
The Woodland Period spans no less than 2,000 years between 1,000 BC and 1,000 AD, and it is marked by a slow but continuous development in tools, crafts and shelters. The bow and arrow appeared by the end of this period.
The Mississippi culture of the Mound Builders came last (ca. 800-1500). Contrary to its name, the building of earthen mounds for burial, residential and ceremonial purposes was not solely limited to the Mississippi culture. Mounds were constructed during a vast period between 3000 BC and 1500 AD.