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

A NATIONAL REGISTER ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE


 MIGRATION

A New Theory
 
Until recently, most scientists thought that people first migrated to the Americas sometime between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago, toward the end of the last Ice Age. But new discoveries point to a different possibility. In the 1990’s archeologists uncovered a campsite in South America, called Monte Verde, where people lived about 12,500 years ago. If the first Americans migrated during the last Ice Age, scientists wonder if they could have reached the tip of South America so quickly. Could they have migrated sooner?

Monte Verde Site, southern Chile
Archeologists inspect a pre-Clovis settlement at Monte Verde.
 
Links and References:
 
1491, New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus; Charles Mann; 2005
 

 


tent stakes
Monte Verde, Chile- Pieces of wooden poles and
stakes were tied with cords made of local grasses.

At about the same time of the Monte Verde discovery, scientists who study the language and genetics of Native Americans found patterns which they believe must have taken longer than 15,000 years to evolve. Their research suggests that people may have migrated to the Americas as early as 30,000 years ago, before the last Ice Age began.

Both explanations about when people first came to the Americas could be valid. Based on the available evidence, people could have migrated at different times, before and during the last Ice Age.   If this is true, then each wave of migration contributed to development of human culture in the Americas.

Next Page: Indian Tribes of Southern Idaho


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

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Last updated: 06-11-2013