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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

The first settlers in America

20,000 BCE


The first humans to settle in America are thought to have come around 20,000 years ago.

It's thought that they crossed over from Asia through Beringia - a landmass that connected Siberia to Alaska.

By 8,000 BCE there were human settlements across all the United States.

Striking artefacts from this period include a pair of sandals found in Oregon and a painted bison skull in Oklahoma.

In California, the oldest human remains date from 11,000 BCE.

Humans at the time were highly mobile.

Indeed they hunted big game like mammoths and bisons.

They traveled in small groups of 20-50, tracking game and following fresh water sources.

In 7,000 BCE, however, global warming and hunting led to the extinction of many large animals that humans had relied on.

Humans turned to small game like rabbits, deer and antelope, which they complemented with nuts, seeds, fruit, fish...

The Southwest of the US saw the development of the 3 major archeological cultures - the Ancestral Pueblo, the Hohokam and the Mogollon.

Some of their sites are still visible today, like the UNESCO Wold Heritage Sites of Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde.

La Joconde, de Vinci (1519)


Native Californians

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