Ancient Native History

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Bering Land Bridge


From this map you can see where a strip of land across the Bering Sea connected Asia and North America during the last Ice Age. The first humans came to the Americas from Asia across this land bridge, perhaps in search of large game animals. Scholars estimate that this migration took place somewhere between 14,000 and 50,000 years ago. When the Ice Age ended around 7000 B.C., melting glaciers raised the level of the seas so that water covered the land bridge.

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Paleolithic Era

The Paleolithic era began around 11,000 B.C. and lasted until 6,000 B.C. Early humans followed mammoths and giant bison, living in nomadic groups. They also used spears made with flint to hunt large animals.

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Archaic Era

The Archaic Era lasted from 6,000 B.C. to A.D. 700. By this time the Ice Age has ended, and early humans used atlatl (a hand-held spear thrower) to hunt large game. These early people traveled in small hunter-gatherer groups called bands. These natives had developed more tools than natives of the Paleo period, and had also developed the bow and arrow.

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Late Prehistoric/Formative Era

The Late Prehistoric (or Formative) Era lasted from A.D. 700 to about A.D. 1500, and saw the development of many new cultures. These cultures consisted bands that still lived as hunter-gatherers, as well as permanent villages. It was in this period that Native's mastered the bow and arrow. The conclusion of the era is marked by the arrival of Europeans to Texas.