Paleo-Indians

__NOTOC__Paleo-Indians or Paleo-Americans were the ancient peoples of the Americas who were present at the end of the last Ice Age. The prefix "paleo" comes from the Greek adjective "palaios" ("παλαιός") "old", and refers to the Upper Paleolithic time period. The best known of these peoples were part of the Clovis culture. However, credible evidence of pre-Clovis Paleo-Indian cultures do not yet exist. Although many claims have been made of the existence of Pre-Clovis Paleo Indians in the Americas, none have as of yet been verified.

Paleo-Americans are believed to be the first people to have inhabited a large number of areas in the Americas, though they didn't inhabit the continent as a whole. The current prevailing theory postulates that Paleo-Indians entered the Americas from Asia via a land bridge (Beringia) connecting eastern Siberia with present-day Alaska when sea levels were significantly lower because of a widespread glaciation period ending about 10,000 years ago. However, evidence suggestive of even earlier human occupation in South America at sites like Monte Verde in Chile (35,000 years), or in North America at Topper (50,000 years ago), have generated an alternative theory that Paleo-Indians, or at least some groups of them, may have come from the Pacific Islands or mainland Asia by watercraft.

Paleo-Americans are believed to have been nomadic hunter-gatherers (They hunted a type of huge sloth, a type of bison, various species of mammoths and camels) whose following of animal migrations dictated where they camped. As the glaciers that covered much of North America receded in the warming climate following the most recent glacial maximum, tundra foliage was the main plant growth. Paleo-Indians living in the tundra hunted both large mammals like prehistoric bear, bison, and caribou, as well as smaller mammals like hare and arctic fox. Paleo-Indians also lived in the taiga, forested steppe, semi-arid temperate woodlands, and other ecozones. Paleo-Americans are known to have hunted with both fluted stone-pointed wooden lancing spears and shorter spears thrown using an atlatl; they probably also foraged for edible plants.

Paleo-Americans likely traveled in small groups of approximately 20 or 50 members of an extended family. Archaeological evidence of particular kinds of fluted stone have been uncovered, suggesting trade occurred between such groups.

Archaic stage inhabitants of the Americas are believed to be direct descendants of Paleo-Americans.

Recent research

An article in the American Journal of Human Genetics states "Here we show, by using 86 complete mitochondrial genomes, that all Native American haplogroups, including haplogroup X, were part of a single founding population, thereby refuting multiple-migration models." [http://www.ajhg.org/AJHG/fulltext/S0002-9297(08)00139-0# "Mitochondrial Population Genomics Supports a Single Pre-Clovis Origin with a Coastal Route for the Peopling of the Americas" Fagundes, Nelson J.R.; Kanitz, Ricardo; Eckert, Roberta; Valls, Ana C.S.; Bogo, Mauricio R.; Salzano, Francisco M.; Smith, David Glenn; Silva, Wilson A.; Zago, Marco A.; Ribeiro-dos-Santos, Andrea K.; Santos, Sidney E.B.; Petzl-Erler, Maria Luiza; Bonatto, Sandro L. American journal of human genetics(volume 82 issue 3 pp.583 - 592) ]

ee also

*Paleo-Eskimo

Notes

References

*
*

External links

* [http://www.si.edu/resource/faq/nmnh/origin.htm Smithsonian Institute: Paleoamerican Origins]
* [http://www.ele.net Paleoindian & Other Archaeological Stuff]
* [http://www.daysknob.com Possible pre-Clovis Site in Ohio]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Paleo-Indian — [pā΄lē ō in′dē ən] n. a member of the prehistoric people that migrated to America from Asia during the late Pleistocene: they are the ancestors of the American Indians adj. designating or of the Paleo Indians or their culture …   English World dictionary

  • native American — native American, adj. a person born in the United States. [1835 45, Amer.] * * * ▪ indigenous peoples of Canada and United States Introduction also called  American Indian,  Amerindian,  Amerind,  Indian,  Aboriginal American,  or  First Nation… …   Universalium

  • Native American — Indian (def. 1). Usage. See Indian, Eskimo. * * * ▪ indigenous peoples of Canada and United States Introduction also called  American Indian,  Amerindian,  Amerind,  Indian,  Aboriginal A …   Universalium

  • arctic — arctically, adv. /ahrk tik/ or, esp. for 7, /ahr tik/, adj. 1. (often cap.) of, pertaining to, or located at or near the North Pole: the arctic region. 2. coming from the North Pole or the arctic region: an arctic wind. 3. characteristic of the… …   Universalium

  • Settlement of the Americas — …   Wikipedia

  • Aboriginal peoples in Canada — Native Canadian redirects here. For Canadian born people in general, see Canadians. Aboriginal peoples in Canada …   Wikipedia

  • American Indian — 1. Indian (def. 1). 2. Amerind (def. 2). Abbr.: AmerInd [1725 35] Usage. See Indian. * * * or Native American or Amerindian Any member of the various aboriginal peoples of the Western Hemisphere, with the exception of the …   Universalium

  • Indigenous peoples of the Americas — Red Indian redirects here. For the native inhabitants of the island of Newfoundland known for using red ochre, see Beothuk. Indigenous peoples of the Americas …   Wikipedia

  • Anthropology and Archaeology — ▪ 2009 Introduction Anthropology       Among the key developments in 2008 in the field of physical anthropology was the discovery by a large interdisciplinary team of Spanish and American scientists in northern Spain of a partial mandible (lower… …   Universalium

  • History of Canada — This article is part of a series Timeline …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”