The Great Journey: The Peopling of Ancient America / Edition 1

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From reviews of the first edition:

"Most of us are acquainted with the European discovery of America, but how and when did American Indians occupy the continent? That's the fascinating puzzle Fagan discusses here--and he reveals himself as a meticulous, skeptical researcher. . . . The upshot is an informative, balanced, and often exciting account."--Kirkus

"This is an admirable introduction to questions that have exercised men ever since the discovery of the Americas."--New York Times Book Review

"For fans of Jean M. Auel's best-selling novels, Fagan's book provides a much-needed and up-to-date summary of the facts on which her books about Ice Age humans are loosely based."--Los Angeles Times

How, where, when, and why did human beings take the first steps in their journey to populate North America? First published in 1987, The Great Journey tells the story of the search for the first Americans--one of archaeology's great controversies. An enhanced edition of this dramatic narrative and real-life mystery follows the trail of evidence from the Old World to the New, beginning with an update on the debates and discoveries that have taken place since the late 1980s. Fagan presents the latest archaeological findings on both sides of the Bering Strait, new genetic and linguistic research that amplifies earlier theories, and he assesses the importance of global warming to first settlement.

The saga of how Asians came across the Bering Sea land bridge begins with the emergence of modern humans in tropical Africa some 150,000 years ago. Fagan describes the great Homo sapiens diaspora, which included the settlement of America, during the late Ice Age. He evaluates the various routes that brought Stone Age hunter-gatherers from Siberia into North America and beyond.

This magnificently readable book, widely regarded as a classic of archaeological writing, sets forth different scenarios for first settlement, the controversies over the extinction of large Ice Age animals, and a brief overview of cultural developments since the time of the Paleo-Indians. Lavishly illustrated with maps, photographs, and line drawings, the updated edition of The Great Journey offers an entertaining yet sober assessment of what we know about the first Americans.

Brian M. Fagan is emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

This magnificently readable book, fully illustrated with maps, photographs, and reconstruction drawings, gives the most authoritative and up-to-date account of the first Americans yet produced.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YAAmerican students traditionally study Indians of North America, but lit tle attention is paid to the original set tlement of the American continents. Here is a thorough discussion of the most probable routes that those original cave people took from Siberia, mov ingover thousands of years throughout North America and on into South America. Fagan methodically describes sites of early human habita tion which have been excavated and carefully dated and also describes vari ous controversies of method and con tent. While the book's factual content sounds imposing, Fagan's writing style is easy and relaxed, making all the in formation accessible and fascinating to lay readers, high-school students in cluded. Photographs and diagrams complete Fagan's effort, and the care ful index allows easy research by lo cale, tool use, age of excavation, etc. Books on archaeological methods, finds, and reconstruction of the history of other areas of the world are common in high-school libraries; it is time one of this quality be available on the Ameri cas. Dorcas Hand, Episcopal High School, Bellaire
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813027562
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 6/28/2004
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,011,575
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Update of the 2004 edition
Introduction : an archaeological drama 7
Pt. 1 Ideas
1 Friars antiquarians, and moundbuilders 15
2 Palaeoliths and extinct animals 35
Pt. 2 Ancestry
3 In the beginning : act 1, scene 1 : Africa, Europe, and Asia from about 2 million to 35,000 years ago 59
4 Modern humans take the stage : act 1, scene 2 : Europe and Asia 35,000 to 15,000 years ago 73
Pt. 3 The crossing
5 Beringia : act 2, scene 1 : the Bering Strait 35,000 to 15,000 years ago 101
6 Alaska and the Yukon territory : act 2, scene 2 : the Northwestern reaches of the new world 119
Pt. 4 The first Americans
7 The ice-free corridor? : interlude 137
8 On the track of the earliest settlers : act 3, scene 1 : the Americans before 11,500 years ago 145
9 The Clovis people and their forebears: act 3, scene 2 : North America at the end of the Ice Age 177
Pt. 5 The great diversity
10 The bison hunters 199
11 The Northern world 221
12 Epilog 239
Further reading 263
Acknowledgments 276
List of illustrations 277
Index 281
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