Paleoamerican is a classification term given to the first peoples who entered, and subsequently inhabited, the Americas during the final glacial episodes of the late Pleistocene period. Evidence suggests big-animal hunters crossed the Bering Strait from Asia into America over a land and ice bridge. This bridge existed between 45,000– 12,000 BCE. Small isolated groups of hunter-gatherers migrated alongside herds of large herbivores far into Alaska. From c. 16,500 – c. 13,500 BCE, ice-free corridors developed along the Pacific coast and valleys of North America.
Dr. Dudley Gardner is a researcher and Provost of Coconino Community College.