Prehistoric time

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Prehistoric time

  1. 1. Prehistoric Time Many people have the impression that the U.S. has little background and history. Other parts of the world are seen as having ancient cultures and old civilizations. The USA, by contrast, is seen as a recent discovery, a "new" world. Actually, the land and the peoplethat form the roots of American history stretch far back into the past. The U.S. of todayis only a small part of a long and colourful history. The Ice Age. Tens of thousands of years ago, the Western Hemispherelooked different than it does today. For one thing, it was much larger in size. At thattime, one-third of the earths surface was covered by ice. This was the result of apart of the earths history known as the Ice Age. During the Ice Age, the generalclimate of the earth slowly grew freezing cold. The moisture escaping from theoceans and the seas, which usually returns as rain, fell mostly as snow. Thissnow became packed into glaciers, or heavy, giant sheets of solid ice, which moveslowly across the land. With less rain falling, the oceans became lower than before,and much of the earth that was normally covered by water became dry land. The Land Bridge. The last Ice Age began 70 000 B.C., reached its peak about 40000 B.C., and came to an end about 10 000 B.C. At different times during the last IceAge, glaciers covered much of Europe, Asia and North America. Because the oceanswere much lower than they are today, the western Hemisphere was much larger andextended over a great portion of the globe. Southern America was much closer toAfrica, while North America was joined to Asia by a wide strip of land called a landbridge. This land bridge is now covered by the Bering Strait. Though the landmass of the Western Hemisphere was greater, the one thing it lacked was people. Modern scientists claim that only giant creatures, such as dinosaurs, roamed the frozen plains. There were no humans to be found in this part of the world. It was not until the glaciers started to melt, and the temperatures of the earth began to rise, that humans made their first appearance on the continent. Scientists believe that humans have been in North America at least 11000 or 12000 years. Who were the first people? By all accounts, the first settlers were from Mongolia. They left their homes in what is now the Gobi Desert during the late stages of the last Ice Age. The Mongolians came there in search of better hunting grounds. Clothed in warm skins and thick hides, they lived off the land and fought their way through hostile tribes they met along the way. Finally, the wanderers reached the land bridge, crossed over the Bering Strait from eastern Siberia, and entered the peninsula of Alaska. I. Find answers to the following questions in the text: 1.Does the USA have little history? 2.How did the Western Hemisphere look like tens of thousands of years ago? 3.What was the climate in the Ice Age? 4.Who were North Americas first settlers? 5.Where did the people come from to the continent? 6.When did the ancestors of the Indians come to North America? II.Say what information from the text seems important to you. III.Find the words and expressions that mean the following: на самом деле, напротив, в то же время, хотя, с одной стороны, по крайней мере, по общим отзывам, в конце концов.

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