Theories on Migration to the New World

Topics: Clovis culture, Models of migration to the New World, United States Pages: 3 (953 words) Published: March 6, 2011
Theories on Migration to the New World
Since the beginning the question of when the first humans reached the Americas has been an ongoing study for anthropologist and archaeologist. All agree that the one thing we are sure about is the first inhabitants were Homo Sapiens Sapiens. The question of when and how humans first entered the "New World" is still a mystery. A number of theories have been proposed however there are three leading theories which try to explain the origin of humans in the New World. The Land Bridge Theory holds that the first to enter the Americas were Clovis people, the “big-game" hunters. The Atlantic Crossing suggests that Stone Age mariners journeyed from Europe around the southern fringes of the great ice sheets in the North Atlantic and were genetically connected to the Solutrean people, and the last possible entryway is the Pacific Route down the west coast. The Land Bridge Theory was the first theory and was constructed over seventy years ago. This theory is known as a standard view of humans coming to the New World. The Land Bridge theory holds that people first migrated from Northern Asia less than 12,000 years ago crossing to North America over a temporary land bridge between Asia and Alaska. The 1,000 kilometer-wide land bridge known as Beringia appeared as a result of the drop in the sea level 125 meters lower than today. About 10,200 years ago, when the glacier finally melted, the sea covered the land bridge. Thanks to the research led by Brigham-Grette, together with Lloyd Keigwin, a palaeoclimatologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, and Neal Driscoll, a geologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, it is known now that a land bridge between modern Siberia and Alaska did appear between 18,000 and 10,200 years ago (Dalton 2003). During the last ice age, which lasted from 1.87 mln until 10,250 thousand years ago, a large part of the continent was covered...
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