Peopling the Americas Beringia - Land Bridge revealed by an Ice Age - Asian Hunters cross from Siberia (Asia) into Alaska (North America) - from 40,000 until about 10,000 years ago Kennewick Man – Recently discovered fossil evidence suggests that Europeans may have also crossed into and settled North America End of the Ice Age - People moved south and about between 10,000 and 5,000 years ago an agricultural revolution (farming) began - Civilizations begin to form in agricultural areas about 3,000 years ago
Mexico, Central and South America Olmecs – about 1200 BCE (Before Common Era) - first identifiable American culture - on the Mexican Gulf Coast Mayans – 250 until 900 C.E. - Yucatan Peninsula & Guatemala - An advanced civilization that fell apart – Why?
Mexico, Central and South America (cont’d) Aztecs -1200’s until 1500’s - Central Mexican Empire - violent, powerful society that dominated the region and nearby tribes Incas - 1400’s until 1530’s - South American Indian Empire - in Peru & Chile along the Pacific Coast of South America
Northern American (U.S.) Indians Desert Southwest Anasazi and Hohokam - 300 BCE to 1400 CE - Anasazi – cliff dwellers (Four Corners) - including the Mesa Verde Cliff Dwelling - Hohokam – Farming through irrigation
Northern America - Midwest Adena & Hopewell -800 BCE until 600 CE - Mound builders in the Ohio River Valley Mississippians - (600 CE until 1400 CE) - Mound builders in the Mississippi River Valley - Cahokia (Illinois) - An enormous mound city about 1150 CE (20,000 people) - Moundville (Alabama) - One of the most well-preserved Mississippian sites
By the 1400’s Eastern Woodlands (Northeast/Midwest) - Algonquin -speaking people - many of the tribes first encountered by English colonists were Algonquin speakers - These include the Powhaton Confederacy in Virginia, the Wampanoag, Narragansett and Pequot in New England
Eastern Woodlands (Northeast/Midwest) (cont’d) - Iroquois -speaking people – occupied lands of upstate New York and across the Great Lakes into what is now Canada - The most powerful tribe was the Huron - Other smaller tribes formed the Iroquois League to make peace among them and allow them to oppose the more powerful Huron - Both of these groups practiced Slash-and-Burn Agriculture in which they burned a section of woods and then used the fertile ground for farming
Southeastern - SE tribes were heavily influenced by the Mississippian culture - By the 1500’s the Cherokee had 60 towns and over 20,000 people in what is now North Carolina & Tennessee - There were several other southern tribes, the Creek had over 50 villages in Alabama & Georgia. - These groups practiced 'three-sister' farming , in which fields of maize also included beans growing on the cornstalks, and squash growing beneath them on the ground.
Across the Continent - Other large cultural groups in North America included the tribes of the Plains, the Southwest, the Great Basin, California and the Pacific Northwest. -The tribes of Mexico and Central America (led by the Aztecs) are known as Mesoamericans - The tribes on the Caribbean Islands, those first encountered by Columbus, are known as the Taino
Shared Cultural Patterns of Pre-Columbian American Indians The American Indian groups of the 1400’s that were first encountered by the Europeans shared certain cultural patterns: 1) Extensive Trading Networks - stretched across the continent 2) Land Use - tribes claimed certain lands and used them collectively among themselves 3) Religious Beliefs - the world is filled with spiritual presences 4) System of Social Organization - kinship groups & a division of labor