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LOOSE LEAF New 0205105297 Book is BRAND NEW. STILL IN CELLOPHANE WRAPPER! No writing or highlighting in the interior! Great copy! Ships quickly! 100% of the book sales go ... towards furthering the International Book Project's mission of promoting literacy in the developing world. 100% of proceeds help send books overseas to schools and libraries throughout the developing world. Read more Show Less

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Who were the original North American settlers some fifteen thousand years ago, and where and how did they arrive? What kind of landscape did they find and how did their societies develop? This is the compelling and little-known history that Brian Fagan recounts, drawing on cutting edge research in many disciplines, ranging from archaeology and ethnohistory to climatology, chemistry, and physics.

Fagan describes the controversies over the first settlement, which probably occurred via Siberia toward the end of the Ice Age, and the debates over the routes used as humans moved south into the heart of the continent. A remarkable diversity of hunter-gatherer societies evolved in the rapidly changing North American environments, and the book explores the ingenious ways in which people adapted to every kind of landscape imaginable, from arctic tundra to open plains and thick woodland.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Writing for lay readers, Fagan (anthropology, emeritus, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans) synthesizes theories and archaeological data in his survey of approximately 15,000 years of Native American history and culture in North America. He begins by examining several of the theories concerning the arrival of native peoples on the continent but cautions that the paucity of evidence makes it too early to make definitive statements on the topic. He then traces the evolution of cultures in various locales, beginning with the Paleo-Indians and ending with Native American groups such as the Iroquois and Pueblo at the time of European contact. A particular strength of the work is the author's examination of Mound Builder ritual and cosmology, which are presently hot topics among academics but scarcely mentioned in books aimed at the general public. VERDICT This highly recommended work should be read alongside David J. Meltzer's First Peoples in a New World: Colonizing Ice Age America.—John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205105298
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 8/26/2011
  • Edition number: 2
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian M. Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is a leading authority on world prehistory. His many books include Floods, Famines, and Emperors.
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Table of Contents

Preface 7

Chronological Table 10

Part I Foundations

1 The Earliest Americans 13

Chronological table 12

Ultimate origins: genetics, teeth, and languages 14

The pre-Clovis question 18

Beringia and a tale of microblades 21

Moving south 26

The world of Clovis 26

Mass extinctions 30

2 After Clovis 33

Hell Gap 33

Bison hunting on the Plains 35

The western interior 37

The Eastern Woodlands 43

Restricted mobility 47

The issue of sedentism 48

Burials and the lands of the ancestors 52

3 The Far North: West to East 55

Chronological table 54

The Paleoarctic tradition 55

Coastal adaptations: Ocean Bay and Kachemak 57

The Aleutian tradition 59

The Arctic Small Tool tradition 62

First settlement of the eastern Arctic 64

4 Foraging the West Coast 71

Chronological table 70

A diverse coastal world 71

Early settlement of the Northwest Coast 73

The Northwest: salmon, food surpluses, and exchange 74

South of the Klamath River 78

5 Before the Pueblos 93

Archaic societies 93

Maize comes to the Southwest 95

The beginnings of village life 102

Fremont farmers in the Great Basin 107

6 People of the Plains 111

Chronological table 110

The Plains Archaic 113

Bison jumps 114

Protohistoric times 117

Village farmers on the Plains 119

7 The Eastern Woodlands: Nuts, Native Plants, and Earthworks 127

A container revolution 127

Cultivating native plants 128

Late Archaic societies 130

Exchange and interaction 134

Cemeteries and burial mounds 137

Poverty Point 138

Part II Apogee

8 The Far North: Norton, Dorset, and Thule 142

The Norton tradition 142

The Thule tradition in the west 143

The Dorset tradition of the eastern Arctic 147

Thule expansion in the eastern Arctic 152

Classic Thule 155

Post-Classic Thule 157

9 The West Coast: Not a Garden of Eden 158

The Late Period Northwest Coast 158

Links to historic peoples 159

The interior plateau 162

The California coast 165

The Medieval Warm Period 166

Northern and central California 167

Southern California coast 169

10 The Southwest: Villages and Pueblos 175

Chaco Canyon 176

Hohokam: the desert irrigators 181

Mesa Verde 193

Katcinas and warriors 198

Paquime (Casas Grandes) 200

11 The Eastern Woodlands: Moundbuilders 203

Chronological table 202

Burial mounds and the Adena complex 203

Hopewell 208

Earthworks and cosmos 212

The Hopewell decline and effigy mounds 218

12 The Mississippian: Eastern Woodlands Climax 220

A triad of cults 221

Subsistence and exchange 223

Cahokia: a great chiefdom 225

Moundville 228

What were these complex chiefdoms? 231

Fertility and duality 231

European contact 233

13 The Northeast: Algonquians and Iroquoians 234

Algonquian and Iroquoian 234

Terminal Archaic 235

Woodland societies 236

Northern Iroquoian origins: Early Iroquoian 237

Middle Iroquoian 240

To European contact and beyond 245

14 Epilogue 250

The holocaust of disease 250

Furs and wampum 251

The Spanish borderlands 253

Further Reading 258

Sources of Illustrations 263

Index 265

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