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

A NATIONAL REGISTER ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE


 MIGRATION

When Did the First People Arrive?
 
It is difficult to know for certain when people first journeyed south from Beringia into North and South America. The most widely accepted view is that the migration began sometime between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago, toward the end of the last Ice Age. By that time, the climate had begun to warm and the vast ice sheets that blocked passage across Canada had begun to recede. 

Scientists have two ideas about how could have people traveled beyond the ice sheets that covered Canada and blocked access to the United States. One idea proposes that an ice free corridor opened in Canada as the glaciers melted. According to this theory, small trees began to appear in the ice-free corridor and, for the first time, wood became available for the warmth and cooking fires people needed to survive the journey. The second idea suggests that people migrated down the coastline. Although the coastline was not completely ice-free, people may have used boats, and driftwood might have supplied the fires needed for survival.
 
Recently, a new theory has challenged the prevailing view about when people first migrated to the Americas.
 
 



Bering Land Bridge Overlook
View of a volcano, Bering Land Bridge, AK.

Links and References:
 
People of the Northwest Coast,
Ames and Maschner, 1999
 

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