chapter  1
18 Pages

America’s Earliest Humans

WithAlice B. Kehoe

The peoples known as American Indians are descendants of the original human inhabitants of the American continents. They are the First Nations, by international law the discoverers of America and sovereigns of its lands. Evidence drawn from the fields of geology, biology, and archaeology, indicates that hunters began moving through the Americas some fourteen thousand years ago, very possibly earlier. Archaeologists seeking evidence of early humans in Alaska and the Yukon in Canada encounter problems similar to those of the Calico Mountain investigators. Logically, the oldest evidence of humans in the Americas should be in Alaska and the Yukon because in the late Pleistocene Ice Age, this northwestern section of present-day America was more than once part of the northern continent including Siberia. The end-Pleistocene hunters of several great natural zones left campsites testifying to their highly developed technology both in manufacturing stone and bone artifacts and in procuring food and raw materials.