The First North Americans

The First North Americans

An Archaeological Journey

Book - 2011
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This new history of North America is based mainly on archaeology, but also on cutting-edge research in many scientific disciplines, from biology and climatology to ethnohistory and high-tech chemistry and physics. Brian Fagan describes the controversies over first settlement, which likely occurred via Siberia at the end of the Ice Age, and the debates over the routes used as humans moved southward 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.Professor Fagan recounts the increasingly sophisticated acclimation by Native Americans to arctic, arid and semiarid lands, culminating in the spectacular Ancestral Pueblo societies of the Southwest and the elaborate coastal settlements of California and the Pacific Northwest. He then traces the origins of the Moundbuilder societies of the Eastern Woodlands, which reached their apogee in the flamboyant Mississippian culture of the South and Southeast and the mounds of the ancient city of Cahokia. The book ends with a description of the Algonquian and Iroquoian peoples of the Northeast and St. Lawrence Valley, and an epilogue that enumerates the devastating consequences of European contact for Native Americans.
Publisher: New York : Thames & Hudson, 2011
ISBN: 9780500021200
Branch Call Number: 970.00497 FAG
Characteristics: 272 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 25 cm.


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Sep 04, 2014

A review appearing here is very misleading. Carbon dating has nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Evidence for human presence in North and South America, perhaps even 20,000 years or more has increased in recent years. I suggest the book "1491" containing an excellent summary of this contention.

Sep 29, 2011

A few months ago, I read a book about trees that says with the computer age, carbon-dating is found to be accurate only to 3 to 4 thousand years. That's logical, because forest fires and volcanic eruptions increase the carbon in the atmosphere. (Remember a recent eruption in Europe that affected our climate for a few months.)
This author claims that carbon dating shows the first North American tribes were around 16,000 years ago for certainty, and possibly 18,000 years. I didn't read far enough to find out if the moon was still made of green cheese that long ago.

KEVIN DOWD Aug 09, 2011

interesting but dry. expected more new information. good photos.

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