The First Americans


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The First Americans

  1. 1. The First Americans
  2. 2. Where did the native people of North and South America originally come from? <ul><li>Many believe they traveled over a land bridge on the Bering Sea between Asia and North America </li></ul><ul><li>Over several generations, they migrated and populated the continents of North and South America </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Paleo-Indians are credited with being the first group of natives to populate <ul><li>The Paleo-Indians (&quot;paleo&quot; is from a Greek word meaning &quot;old&quot;) crossed the land bridge and, over time, spread out over the entire American continent…all the way down to southern Chile. At first, they hunted wild animals for food and clothing, including the woolly mammoth. The Paleo-Indians used tools and weapons made of bone and stone. </li></ul>
  4. 4. 10,000 years ago… <ul><li>The climate changed again, becoming warmer and drier. Since the huge animals they had hunted died out, the Paleo-Indians adapted and, using smaller spears and bows and arrows, began to hunt smaller animals. Some of the people began to live on shellfish, to weave nets to catch fish, to dig roots, and to gather berries, nuts, fruits, and grass seeds. </li></ul>
  5. 5. 5,000 years ago… <ul><li>Agriculture began in the Americas when the people in what is now Mexico began to plant the seeds of wild corn. Through &quot;cultural diffusion,&quot; Indians in the Americas learned from each other and spread their knowledge further. The development of agriculture meant that the Indians could maintain a more stable food source and food supplies, could have more leisure time to develop the arts, and could settle down in more complex communities to &quot;colonize&quot; the Americas. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Ancient Indian Cultures in North America <ul><li>Several different Indian cultures &quot;colonized&quot; and developed in the different regions of what is now the United States, Mexico, and Canada. In the Southwest desert areas, the people began raising corn and squash 4,000 years ago. Later, they began to grow beans to develop what the Indian people called the &quot;Three Sisters&quot; – corn, squash, and beans. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Hohokam <ul><li>The Hohokam people probably moved from Mexico to central Arizona in about 300 BC. They dug canals to get water to their crops, some 30 miles long. For unknown reasons, the Hohokam culture broke up in the 1400s. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Anasazi <ul><li>The Anasazi people of the Colorado Plateau had a culture based on agriculture. They built irrigation ditches and farmed on terraces to prevent erosion. They lived in villages tucked into canyon walls and canyon valleys, but by about 1300 AD they vanished mysteriously. Perhaps a terrible 25-year-long drought which began in 1275 AD forced them to move away. Their descendants are the Pueblo Indians of the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Woodland Cultures <ul><li>In the region between the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Ocean, the Woodland Cultures developed in about 3000 BC. Mostly based on trade with Indian groups as far south as the Olmecs of Mexico and north to the Great Lakes, the Woodland Cultures were the first group north of Mexico to build pyramid mounds. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Mississippian Culture <ul><li>The Mississippian Culture was another mound culture that developed about 900 AD in the Southeast and Mississippi Valley. This culture had direct ties with Mexico. They were a farming society based along fertile river flood plains. Their towns were large, flat-topped mounds with temples, large houses, and meeting places. The largest city of the Mississippian Culture was Cahokia, in western Illinois. Cahokia was built on 1,000 mounds, and had 30,000 people. The tallest mound rises 10 stories. By the time the European explorers came, the Mississippians had left Cahokia, but the explorers greatly admired the pearl, shell, and feather-decorated mounds they found there. </li></ul>