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Dating misconceptions

The Clovis culture proved to be the earlier of the two.

Clovis projectile points are thin, lanceolate (leaf-shaped), and made of stone; one or more longitudinal flakes, or flutes, were removed from the base of each of the point’s two flat faces.

Clovis points were affixed to spear handles and are often found on mammoth kill sites, usually accompanied by side scrapers (used to flense the hide) and other artifacts used to process meat.

Among the more popular misconceptions were those holding that the first residents of the continent had been members of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel or refugees from the lost island of Atlantis, that their descendents had developed the so-called Mound Builder culture, and that Native Americans had later overrun and destroyed the Mound Builder civilization.Other Beringians probably traveled via ice-free routes through the interior of North America; geological studies indicate that such passages probably existed in the Peace river systems.However, recent evidence has revealed that the ice-free routes were not viable until 12,600 years before the present.Ridgley Whiteman found a similar site near Clovis, New Mexico, albeit with mammoth rather than bison remains.The Folsom and Clovis sites yielded the first indisputable evidence that ancient Americans had co-existed with and hunted the megafauna, a possibility that most scholars had previously met with skepticism.Yet numerous sites, including Gault (Texas), Monte Verde (Chile), Paisley Caves (Oregon), Meadowcroft Rockshelter (Pennsylvania), Cactus Hill (Virginia), Miles Point (Maryland), and others, have established that people were in the Americas 5,000–8,000 years before the ice-free routes were available, establishing that initial migration had to have been along one or both coasts.In studies of North American prehistory, these very early cultures are generally known as Paleo-Indians.These groups include the early farmers of the Southwest, known as the Ancestral Pueblo culture, Mogollon culture, and Hohokam culture; those east of the Mississippi valley, known as Woodland cultures and later as Mississippian cultures; and those who settled along the rivers of the Plains, known as members of the Plains Woodland and the Plains Village cultures.Asia and North America remained connected until about 12,000 years ago.During the last ice age, a “glaciers began to absorb increasing amounts of water, causing global sea levels to fall by as much as 400 feet (120 metres).A complete connection between Asia and North America existed from about 28,000 to 10,000 , and, at its greatest extent, Beringia may have spanned some 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from north to south.

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