Archaeologists contend that Paleo-Indians migrated out of Beringia (western Alaska), between c. 40,000 and c. 16,500 years ago.
Where did the Paleo Indians come from?
The Paleoindian Period refers to a time approximately 12,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age when humans first appeared in the archeological record in North America. One of the original groups to enter what is now Canada and the United States was the Clovis culture.
The Paleo-Indian period is the era from the end of the Pleistocene (the last Ice Age) to about 9,000 years ago (7000 BC), during which the first people migrated to North and South America.
Paleo-Indian Migration However, the traditional theory has been that these early migrants moved into the Beringia land bridge between eastern Siberia and present-day Alaska around 40,000–17,000 years ago, when sea levels were significantly lowered due to the Quaternary glaciation.
Mammoths became extinct on the Plains by 11,000 years ago, and, although paleoecological conditions were worsening, their demise may have been hastened by human predation. After this, the main target of the Plains Paleoindian hunters consisted of subspecies of bison, Bison antiquus and Bison occidentalis.
Paleo-Indian peoples, whose descendants include the Paiute, were the first inhabitants in the area, some 12,000 years ago. Their tools have been discovered at several sites in the Las Vegas Valley.
Traditional theories suggest that big-animal hunters crossed the Bering Strait from North Asia into the Americas over a land bridge (Beringia). This bridge existed from 45,000 to 12,000 BCE (47,000–14,000 BP). Small isolated groups of hunter-gatherers migrated alongside herds of large herbivores far into Alaska.
Archaeological evidence shows that people called Paleo-Indians were in the area of Utah Lake from about 12,000 to 8,500 B.C. They inhabited caves or brush and wood shelters. They gathered food either by hunting or by gathering, especially since they lived by an abundant lake.
Most Paleoindian houses were small, circular structures. They were made of poles that leaned in at the top, tipi-style. The poles were covered with brush, and the brush was covered with mud or animal hides. Animal hides probably covered the doorway, too.
The Paleoindian Period (16,000–8000 BC) came toward the end of the Ice Age, a time when the climate warmed and the largest mammals became extinct. Likely having originally migrated from Asia, the first people in Virginia were hunter-gatherers who left behind lithic, or stone, tools, often spearheads.
From linguistic evidence it is clear that Native Americans called Inuit, Yupik and Aleut are Paleo-Siberian (Eskimo-Aleut) and migrated 6-8,000 years ago from N.E. Asia after the last Ice Age (Glaciation).
The earliest arrivals and their physical and cultural descendants, collectively called “Paleo-Indians” (meaning “ancient” Indians), appear to have occupied the Americas, including the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, for 10,000 to perhaps 40,000 years – a period of time longer than that for all the
Gravel and sand excavation at the end of Paradise Road in Ipswich uncovered the oldest Paleo-Indian site in American, known today as the Bull Brook Site.
Clovis points, which were made early in the Paleoindian period, have been found throughout North America, most often associated with the bones of mammoths. Folsom points were made later, and they are found mostly in the central and western parts of the continent, often in association with the bones of bison.
Judging by the clothing people living today wear in colder climates and by the resources available to them, Paleoindians probably wore animal hide and fur clothing.