Module 4 – TheEarly Inhabitants of Colorado At the end of this lesson, students will UNDERSTAND that people have been making Colorado their home for thousands of years. You will learn about the following ESSENTIAL terms: TAKE NOTES!!! QUESTION: Bering Strait Land Bridge Theory, other migration WHO WERE theories, Clovis, and Folsom THESE People, Archaic PEOPLE AND HOW Hunters, wickiups, obsidian, pem DID THEY mican, and atlatl SURVIVE?
There are several newHow did people get to and competing theoriesthis continent in the on how the ancestors of first place? Native American tribes came to this continent. However, the most accepted and popular belief is known as the Bering Strait Land Bridge Theory. On the next slide, watch the short video and take notes.
Other Theories and Perspectives: TheSolutrean Hypothesis Over the last twenty years, scientists have refined DNA research which has opened up some very interesting questions that challenges the Land Bridge Theory. There has been new archaeological evidence that also suggests that Native Peoples may have arrived in the Western Hemisphere by means other than the “Land Bridge”. Again, watch this short video and take notes.
A Native AmericanPerspective – from the Navajo Almost all people have their own stories of where they came from. One thing to always remember, no one knows for sure exactly how we all came to be. There are only stories, hypothesis’ and theories. What we can know is that in all of these stories, are lessons and things that we can learn. Watch this short clip on the Navajo and ask yourself, “are their any similarities to the first two ‘scientific clips’?” Again, take notes on what you see.
Colorado The Clovis People The oldest evidence of man in Colorado dates back to the Clovis people, who inhabited the southwest region about 15,000 -11,000 years ago. This group were early mammoth hunters, who used a spear with a four to five inch long projectile point with a flute running partway up the center of the point from the base. These points were time consuming and difficult to make, so the hunters probablytried to retrieve their points from Here is an atlatl demonstration. Of course, they the game they killed. To are throwing at fake stationary targets. hunt, they would attempt to trap these large animals and spear Imagine if these were 11 to 13 ft. high wooly them or even run the over a mammoths or large prehistoric bison. I cliff. Most archaeologists believe suspect that it would have made for a whole that these people were very skillful hunters and used spears different experience.with atlatls, the predecessor of the bow and arrow.
Colorado The Clovis People (continued) In order to bring down a mammoth, sometimes the Clovis people would surround it with their spears readyto pierce the inch-thick skin, while another Clovis hunter snuck in with a knife and crippled the mammoth by cutting its leg tendons. Since it was so difficult to kill a mammoth, most of the time the Clovis people probably survived on plants and small game. Then 11,000 year ago, the ice started to thaw out, the Bering Strait LandBridge broke up, and the mammoths, along with saber-toothed tiger, short-faced bear, and the early horse died out.The following website is one of the best that I have found that provides a tremendous amount of information on what we currently know about the Clovis People. Ihighly recommend that you take some time and explore this site.
Colorado The Folsom People Click picture for Folsom link The next group of early inhabitants were the Folsom People. Since the mammoth were gone, it was no longer necessary to have the long projectilepoint, so the Folsom hunters created a shorter projectile point with a longergroove in the center. The Folsom people hunted bison (a bigger variety than todays bison (buffalo)). Unlike the totally nomadic Clovis, archeological evidence showed that Folsom People might have had home camps, an area they would return to every year and spend considerable time at the same spot. The Folsom did not make permanent structures; instead, they would have built Wickiups (a structure that had some wooden poles, with eitherbison hide or brush used for protection. Similar to the more familiar tipi.) At one of the archeological Folsom excavation sites, tools made from obsidian were found. The closest obsidian stone quarry was in New Mexico and Yellowstone National Park, so either the Folsom people traveled great distances, or trade was already spreading throughout the tribes.
ArchaicHunter-GatherersThe Archaic hunter-gatherers were the next major group to occupyColorado. This group followed the herds of deer, elk, bighornsheep, antelope, and bison and moved around seasonally. The Archaicwomen had the awesome responsibility of making sure the tribes hadenough food to survive the winter. Therefore, the women became verygood at finding supplemental food supplies. They gathered Indianrice, grass, hackberry, chokecherry, wild buckwheat, prickly pearcactus, yampa roots, prairie turnips, and pinion nuts. The Archaic womendid not have clay pots; they used stomachs of animals, hide bags, or tightlywoven baskets covered with pitch to cook in. They would heat rocks in afire, then drop the rocks into the "pot" to cook the stew. The women alsomade Pemmican, the Archaic version of a powerbar! Pemmican was driedmeat and berries, pounded into a powder with animal fat poured over themixture. It was then dried in the sun, and cut into strips. Pemmican lastedfor months, was high in protein, and was very easy to eat and take whentraveling.
Archaic hunters also developed new methods to capture small game. They would make nets out of yucca fiber and human hair and stretch them across a game trail. Then a group of hunters Archaic would start going through the brush, chasing theHunter-Gatherers small game into the net. Rabbits were the main (continued) source of small game; they supplemented the Archaic peoples diet, as well as provided pelts for blankets and clothing. For hunting bigger game such as deer and elk, the hunters would sometimes dig a pit along a game trail route, and then cover the pit with brush. The big game would make its way down the path, and would find itself captured inside of a pit! The Archaic people basically lived on the Western slope of Colorado, only venturing onto the plains for hunting trips for bison. The Archaic people, and some of their traditions, will be an integral part of future Native American tribes, especially the Ute people.