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  • Edition: 00
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2012-02-17
  • Publisher: THAMES&HUD

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Who were the original North American settlers some fifteen thousand years ago, and where and how did they arrive? What kind of landscape did they find and how did their societies develop? This is the compelling and little-known history that Brian Fagan recounts, drawing on cutting edge research in many disciplines, ranging from archaeology and ethnohistory to climatology, chemistry, and physics. Fagan describes the controversies over the first settlement, which probably occurred via Siberia toward the end of the Ice Age, and the debates over the routes used as humans moved south into the heart of the continent. A remarkable diversity of hunter-gatherer societies evolved in the rapidly changing North American environments, and the book explores the ingenious ways in which people adapted to every kind of landscape imaginable, from arctic tundra to open plains and thick woodland.

Author Biography

Brian Fagan, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is recognized as one of the foremost living archaeological writers and as an authority on world prehistory. He is the author of numerous bestselling textbooks and historical works for the general reader, including the highly successful Ancient North America.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 7
Chronological Tablep. 10
The Earliest Americansp. 13
Chronological tablep. 12
Ultimate origins: genetics, teeth, and languagesp. 14
The pre-Clovis questionp. 18
Beringia and a tale of microbladesp. 21
Moving southp. 26
The world of Clovisp. 26
Mass extinctionsp. 30
After Clovisp. 33
Hell Gapp. 33
Bison hunting on the Plainsp. 35
The western interiorp. 37
The Eastern Woodlandsp. 43
Restricted mobilityp. 47
The issue of sedentismp. 48
Burials and the lands of the ancestorsp. 52
The Far North: West to Eastp. 55
Chronological tablep. 54
The Paleoarctic traditionp. 55
Coastal adaptations: Ocean Bay and Kachemakp. 57
The Aleutian traditionp. 59
The Arctic Small Tool traditionp. 62
First settlement of the eastern Arcticp. 64
Foraging the West Coastp. 71
Chronological tablep. 70
A diverse coastal worldp. 71
Early settlement of the Northwest Coastp. 73
The Northwest: salmon, food surpluses, and exchangep. 74
South of the Klamath Riverp. 78
Before the Pueblosp. 93
Archaic societiesp. 93
Maize comes to the Southwestp. 95
The beginnings of village lifep. 102
Fremont farmers in the Great Basinp. 107
People of the Plainsp. 111
Chronological tablep. 110
The Plains Archaicp. 113
Bison jumpsp. 114
Protohistoric timesp. 117
Village farmers on the Plainsp. 119
The Eastern Woodlands: Nuts, Native Plants, and Earthworksp. 127
A container revolutionp. 127
Cultivating native plantsp. 128
Late Archaic societiesp. 130
Exchange and interactionp. 134
Cemeteries and burial moundsp. 137
Poverty Pointp. 138
The Far North: Norton, Dorset, and Thulep. 142
The Norton traditionp. 142
The Thule tradition in the westp. 143
The Dorset tradition of the eastern Arcticp. 147
Thule expansion in the eastern Arcticp. 152
Classic Thulep. 155
Post-Classic Thulep. 157
The West Coast: Not a Garden of Edenp. 158
The Late Period Northwest Coastp. 158
Links to historic peoplesp. 159
The interior plateaup. 162
The California coastp. 165
The Medieval Warm Periodp. 166
Northern and central Californiap. 167
Southern California coastp. 169
The Southwest: Villages and Pueblosp. 175
Chaco Canyonp. 176
Hohokam: the desert irrigatorsp. 181
Mesa Verdep. 193
Katcinas and warriorsp. 198
Paquime (Casas Grandes)p. 200
The Eastern Woodlands: Moundbuildersp. 203
Chronological tablep. 202
Burial mounds and the Adena complexp. 203
Hopewellp. 208
Earthworks and cosmosp. 212
The Hopewell decline and effigy moundsp. 218
The Mississippian: Eastern Woodlands Climaxp. 220
A triad of cultsp. 221
Subsistence and exchangep. 223
Cahokia: a great chiefdomp. 225
Moundvillep. 228
What were these complex chiefdoms?p. 231
Fertility and dualityp. 231
European contactp. 233
The Northeast: Algonquians and Iroquoiansp. 234
Algonquian and Iroquoianp. 234
Terminal Archaicp. 235
Woodland societiesp. 236
Northern Iroquoian origins: Early Iroquoianp. 237
Middle Iroquoianp. 240
To European contact and beyondp. 245
Epiloguep. 250
The holocaust of diseasep. 250
Furs and wampump. 251
The Spanish borderlandsp. 253
Further Readingp. 258
Sources of Illustrationsp. 263
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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