Bones, Boats, and Bison: Archeology and the First Colonization of Western North America / Edition 1

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This revolutionary archeological synthesis argues an alternative model of the earliest human population of North America. E. James Dixon dispels the stereotype of big-game hunters following mammoths across the Bering Land Bridge and paints a vivid picture of marine mammal hunters, fishers, and general foragers colonizing the New World. Applying contemporary scientific methods and drawing on new archeological discoveries, he advances evidence indicating that humans first reached the Americas using water craft along the deglaciated Northwest Coast about 13,500 years ago, some 2,000 years before the first Clovis hunters. Dixons rigorous evaluation of the oldest North American archeological sites and human remains offers well-reasoned hypotheses about the physical characteristics, lives, and relationships of the First Americans.
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Editorial Reviews

Scientific American Discovering Archaeology
Dixon's book is a must read. . . . The writing is clear and easy to follow. . . . the frequent use of maps, figures, and tables keeps the book from bogging down in minutia. Now, that's a real find!
The Indian Trader
Dixon's work . . . brings many of the earlier theories into clearer focus. . . . [His] analysis of scientific exploration, to date, should be essential reading for scholars, students of Native American history, and general readers.
New Mexico Historical Review
. . . this book does a fine job of reviewing the available information on the peopling of the Americas and comes up with a hard-to-beat conclusion. . . . no one prior to Dixon has amassed the data to support the coastal migration theory . . . Bones, Boats, and Bison is the most comprehensive review of pre-8,000 B. P. culture history in the Americas to date and is well worth reading.
North American Archeologist
Bones, Boats, and Bison is a valuable, easy-to-read book with essential new information and ideas about the earliest prehistory of western North America. . . The book is a likeable source of information and ideas, and I recommend it.
GeoArchaeology Journal
Bones, Boats, and Bison suceeds in advancing our understanding of the colonization of North America. The book is well written, concise, and light on jargon.
Dixon, curator of archaeology at the Denver Museum of Natural History, argues an alternative model of the earliest human population of North America. He dispels the widely accepted notion of hunters following mammoths across the Bering Land Bridge and paints a vivid picture of marine mammal hunters, fishers, and foragers colonizing the New World. Drawing on new archaeological discoveries, he advances evidence that humans first reached the Americas using water craft along the Northwest Coast some 2,000 years before the first Clovis hunters. Includes b&w photos of digs and artifacts. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826321381
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

E. James Dixon is curator of Museum and Field Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Ch. 1 The Dawn of Paleoindian Archeology 1
Ch. 2 The First Colonization of North America 19
Ch. 3 North America's Oldest Sites 45
Ch. 4 Early Sites in Mexico, and Central and South America 91
Ch. 5 Learning from Those Who Have Gone Before 111
Ch. 6 Interpreting Cultural Development 149
Ch. 7 Alaska and the Pacific Northwest Prior to 8,000 B.P. 165
Ch. 8 The Far West and Mexico Prior to 8,000 B.P. 193
Ch. 9 The Great Plains Prior to 8,000 B.P. 213
Ch. 10 Summary and Speculation 243
Bibliography 257
Index 313
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