U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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Wilson Butte Cave

A NATIONAL REGISTER ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE


 CLIMATE

Out of the Ice Age

Early people migrated to the Americas during a period of great climate change. The Pleistocene Geologic Epoch, a 1.8 million-year period of global cooling and ice ages, was ending. Temperatures were warming, the glaciers to the north were melting quickly, and the Earth was transitioning into the Holocene, or Modern Epoch.  The changing climate was reshaping the environment and the lives of the people who came here.

Serpentine Hot Springs on the Bering Land Bridge
Was the climate in Idaho like today's Bering Land Bridge?

Although the climate was warming, 10,000 years ago southern Idaho was still cooler and wetter than it is today. Average temperatures were about 20 percent cooler than today and the area received about 50 percent more snow and rainfall. The environment near Wilson Butte Cave was still relatively dry, but more water was probably available for people and animals.


How Was Southern Idaho Different 10,000 Years Ago?

Find out how what plant and animal life existed.

Graet Basin Camel Hunt
Paleoindians hunting an American Camel in the Great Basin.
 


Timeline
Ice Sheet (gray zone) & Vegetation

Links to larger maps below.

timeline with ice sheet and vegetation changes
Enlarged maps 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Map Legend:

color key

Note: Idaho evolves from
temperate woodland to
temperate semi-desert.

GO TO THE CAVE
Discoveries
Occupation Period
Who Camped Here
What Was Found
Daily Life

Excavation
History
Age Dating
Meet the Team


PREHISTORIC IDAHO


Climate
Beringia
Out of the Ice Age
Idaho's Past Climate

Migration
The First People
A New Theory
Indian Tribes
Native Legends
Early Sites

Hunting
and Gathering

Major Changes
Tools I
• Tools II
• Ice Caves
 
Gathering Plants
Food / Medicine


EDUCATION

Teacher Pages

LEAVE NO TRACE
Resource Protection

LINKS
More Information




 



 
Last updated: 06-11-2013