More than 12,000 years ago, in one of the greatest triumphs of prehistory, humans colonized North America, a continent that was then truly a new world. Just when and how they did so has been one of the most perplexing and controversial questions in archaeology. This dazzling, cutting-edge synthesis, written for a wide audience by an archaeologist who has long been at the center of these debates, tells the scientific story of the first Americans: where they came from, when they arrived, and how they met the challenges of moving across the vast, unknown landscapes of Ice Age North America. David J. Meltzer pulls together the latest ideas from archaeology, geology, linguistics, skeletal biology, genetics, and other fields to trace the breakthroughs that have revolutionized our understanding in recent years. Among many other topics, he explores disputes over the hemisphere's oldest and most controversial sites and considers how the first Americans coped with changing global climates. He also confronts some radical claims: that the Americas were colonized from Europe or that a crashing comet obliterated the Pleistocene megafauna. Full of entertaining descriptions of on-site encounters, personalities, and controversies, this is a compelling behind-the-scenes account of how science is illuminating our past.
Across Atlantic Ice
Author: Dennis J. Stanford, Bruce A. Bradley
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Argues that the Solutrean culture of coastal Spain and the European Atlantic Shelf was the ancestral industry to the North American Clovis industry.
Bones, Boats & Bison
Author: E. James Dixon
Publisher: UNM Press
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. Dixon's 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. His crisply written analysis of scientific exploration is essential reading for scholars, students, and general readers.
Atlas of a Lost World
Author: Craig Childs
From the author of Apocalyptic Planet comes a vivid travelogue through prehistory, that traces the arrival of the first people in North America at least twenty thousand years ago and the artifacts that tell of their lives and fates. In Atlas of a Lost World, Craig Childs upends our notions of where these people came from and who they were. How they got here, persevered, and ultimately thrived is a story that resonates from the Pleistocene to our modern era. The lower sea levels of the Ice Age exposed a vast land bridge between Asia and North America, but the land bridge was not the only way across. Different people arrived from different directions, and not all at the same time. The first explorers of the New World were few, their encampments fleeting. The continent they reached had no people but was inhabited by megafauna—mastodons, giant bears, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, five-hundred-pound panthers, enormous bison, and sloths that stood one story tall. The first people were hunters—Paleolithic spear points are still encrusted with the proteins of their prey—but they were wildly outnumbered and many would themselves have been prey to the much larger animals. Atlas of a Lost World chronicles the last millennia of the Ice Age, the violent oscillations and retreat of glaciers, the clues and traces that document the first encounters of early humans, and the animals whose presence governed the humans’ chances for survival. A blend of science and personal narrative reveals how much has changed since the time of mammoth hunters, and how little. Across unexplored landscapes yet to be peopled, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light.
An Economist Book of the Year, 2001. In the 18th century, a debate ensued over the French naturalist Buffon’s contention that the New World was in fact geologically new. Historians, naturalists, and philosophers clashed over Buffon’s view. This book maintains that the “dispute” was also a debate over historical authority: upon whose sources and facts should naturalists and historians reconstruct the history of the New World and its people. In addressing this question, the author offers a strikingly novel interpretation of the Enlightenment.
From the Big-Game Hunters who appeared on the continent as far back as 12,000 years ago to the Inuits plying the Alaskan waters today, the Native peoples of North America produced a culture remarkable for its vibrancy, breadth, and diversity--and for its survival in the face of almost inconceivable trials. This book is at once a history of that culture and a celebration of its splendid variety. Rich in historical testimony and anecdotes and lavishly illustrated, it weaves a magnificent tapestry of Native American life reaching back to the earliest human records. A recognized expert in North American studies, Jonathan King interweaves his account with Native histories, from the arrival of the first Native Americans by way of what is now Alaska to their later encounters with Europeans on the continent's opposite coast, from their exchanges with fur traders to their confrontations with settlers and an ever more voracious American government. To illustrate this history, King draws on the extensive collections of the British Museum--artwork, clothing, tools, and artifacts that demonstrate the wealth of ancient traditions as well as the vitality of contemporary Native culture. These illustrations, all described in detail, form a pictorial document of relations between Europeans and Native American peoples--peoples as profoundly different and as deeply related as the Algonquians and the Iroquois, the Chumash of California and the Inuipat of Alaska, the Cree and the Cherokee--from their first contact to their complicated coexistence today.
Connecting modern psychology to its Indigenous roots to enhance the healing process and psychology itself • Shares the healing wisdom of Indigenous people the author has worked with, including the Ju/’hoansi of the Kalahari Desert, the Fijians of the South Pacific, Sicangu Lakota people, and Cree and Anishnabe First Nations people • Explains how Indigenous perspectives can help create a more effective model of best practices in psychology • Explores the vital role of spirituality in the practice of psychology and the shift of emphasis that occurs when one understands that all beings are interconnected Wherever the first inhabitants of the world gathered together, they engaged in the human concerns of community building, interpersonal relations, and spiritual understanding. As such these earliest people became our “first psychologists.” Their wisdom lives on through the teachings of contemporary Indigenous elders and healers, offering unique insights and practices to help us revision the self-limiting approaches of modern psychology and enhance the processes of healing and social justice. Reconnecting psychology to its ancient roots, Richard Katz, Ph.D., sensitively shares the healing wisdom of Indigenous peoples he has worked with, including the Ju/’hoansi of the Kalahari Desert, Fijians native to the Fiji Islands, Lakota people of the Rosebud Reservation, and Cree and Anishnabe First Nations people from Saskatchewan. Through stories about the profoundly spiritual ceremonies and everyday practices he engaged in, he seeks to fulfill the responsibility he was given: build a foundation of reciprocity so Indigenous teachings can create a path toward healing psychology. Also drawing on his experience as a Harvard-trained psychologist, the author reveals how modern psychological approaches focus too heavily on labels and categories and fail to recognize the benefits of enhanced states of consciousness. Exploring the vital role of spirituality in the practice of psychology, Katz explains how the Indigenous approach offers a way to understand challenges and opportunities, from inside lived truths, and treat mental illness at its source. Acknowledging the diversity of Indigenous approaches, he shows how Indigenous perspectives can help create a more effective model of best practices in psychology as well as guide us to a more holistic existence where we can once again assume full responsibility in the creation of our lives.
Author: Shona N. Jackson
During the colonial period in Guyana, the countryOCOs coastal lands were worked by enslaved Africans and indentured Indians. In "Creole Indigeneity," Shona N. Jackson investigates how their descendants, collectively called Creoles, have remade themselves as GuyanaOCOs new natives, displacing indigenous peoples in the Caribbean through an extension of colonial attitudes and policies. Looking particularly at the nationOCOs politically fraught decades from the 1950s to the present, Jackson explores aboriginal and Creole identities in Guyanese society. Through government documents, interviews, and political speeches, she reveals how Creoles, though unable to usurp the place of aboriginals as First Peoples in the New World, nonetheless managed to introduce a new, more socially viable definition of belonging, through labor. The very reason for bringing enslaved and indentured workers into Caribbean labor became the organizing principle for CreolesOCO new identities. Creoles linked true belonging, and so political and material right, to having performed modern labor on the land; labor thus became the basis for their subaltern, settler modes of indigeneityOCoa contradiction for belonging under postcoloniality that Jackson terms OC Creole indigeneity.OCO In doing so, her work establishes a new and productive way of understanding the relationship between national power and identity in colonial, postcolonial, and anticolonial contexts.
First Peoples In Canada
Author: Alan D. McMillan, Eldon Yellowhorn
Publisher: D & M Publishers
First Peoples in Canada provides an overview of all the Aboriginal groups in Canada. Incorporating the latest research in anthropology, archaeology, ethnography and history, this new edition describes traditional ways of life, traces cultural changes that resulted from contacts with the Europeans, and examines the controversial issues of land claims and self-government that now affect Aboriginal societies. Most importantly, this generously illustrated edition incorporates a Nativist perspective in the analysis of Aboriginal cultures.
The end of the Pleistocene era brought dramatic environmental changes to small bands of humans living in North America: changes that affected subsistence, mobility, demography, technology, and social relations. The transition they made from Paleoindian (Pleistocene) to Archaic (Early Holocene) societies represents the first major cultural shift that took place solely in the Americas. This event—which manifested in ways and at times much more varied than often supposed—set the stage for the unique developments of behavioral complexity that distinguish later Native American prehistoric societies. Using localized studies and broad regional syntheses, the contributors to this volume demonstrate the diversity of adaptations to the dynamic and changing environmental and cultural landscapes that occurred between the Pleistocene and early portion of the Holocene. The authors' research areas range from Northern Mexico to Alaska and across the continent to the American Northeast, synthesizing the copious available evidence from well-known and recent excavations.With its methodologically and geographically diverse approach, From the Pleistocene to the Holocene: Human Organization and Cultural Transformations in Prehistoric North America provides an overview of the present state of knowledge regarding this crucial transformative period in Native North America. It offers a large-scale synthesis of human adaptation, reflects the range of ideas and concepts in current archaeological theoretical approaches, and acts as a springboard for future explanations and models of prehistoric change.
Who Discovered America?
Author: Gavin Menzies, Ian Hudson
Publisher: Harper Collins
Greatly expanding on his blockbuster 1421, distinguished historian Gavin Menzies uncovers the complete untold history of how mankind came to the Americas—offering new revelations and a radical rethinking of the accepted historical record in Who Discovered America? The iconoclastic historian’s magnum opus, Who Discovered America? calls into question our understanding of how the American continents were settled, shedding new light on the well-known “discoveries” of European explorers, including Christopher Columbus. In Who Discovered America? he combines meticulous research and an adventurer’s spirit to reveal astounding new evidence of an ancient Asian seagoing tradition—most notably the Chinese—that dates as far back as 130,000 years ago. Menzies offers a revolutionary new alternative to the “Beringia” theory of how humans crossed a land bridge connecting Asia and North America during the last Ice Age, and provides a wealth of staggering claims, that hold fascinating and astonishing implications for the history of mankind.
Author: Jeffrey Sissons
Publisher: Reaktion Books
First Peoplesargues, controversially, that far from disappearing in the face of global capitalism, indigenous cultures today are as diverse as they ever were. Rather than being absorbed into a uniform modernity, indigenous peoples are anticipating alternative futures and appropriating global resources for their own, culturally specific needs. For Sissons, however, the traditional and the modern are not mutually exclusive: indigenous cultures and nation-states are aspects of the same contemporary condition, and their apparently opposing position is an expression of the contradictory nature of modernity in the 21st century. Indigenous peoples often define themselves in terms of their struggle against oppressive exterior forces; by contrast, the metropolitan cultures they struggle against often cling precariously to the surfaces of their new land. But indigenous identities have also been forged through alliances between indigenous peoples at international forums and in other settings. The loose alliances throughout the indigenous world constitute an alternative political order to the global organization of states. For Inuit, Eskimo and Saami in the northern hemisphere, for Mayan, Maori and Aboriginal Australians in the southern, and for more than a hundred distinct peoples in between, culture has become more than a heritage: it is a project. The numerous cultural renaissances that occurred thoughout the indigenous world in the second half of the 20th century were more than passing events. Their momentum has continued into the new millennium, while the challenges they pose to states and their bureaucracies have become increasingly urgent. While the economic and political issues addressed by indigenous groups were and are depressingly similar – racism, loss of land and resources, inadequate health and education services – the solutions have been characterized by enormous cultural diversity.
They Make Themselves
Author: Jane Fajans
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
For generations of anthropologists, the Baining people have presented a challenge, because of their apparent lack of cultural or social structure. This group of small-scale horticulturists seems devoid of the complex belief systems and social practices that characterize other traditional peoples of Papua New Guinea. Their daily existence is mundane and repetitive in the extreme, articulated by only the most elementary familial relationships and social connections. The routine of everyday life, however, is occasionally punctuated by stunningly beautiful festivals of masked dancers, which the Baining call play and to which they attribute no symbolic significance. In a new work sure to evoke considerable repercussions and debate in anthropological theory, Jane Fajans courageously takes on the "Baining Problem," arguing that the Baining define themselves not through intricate cosmologies or social networks, but through the meanings generated by their own productive and reproductive work.
Introduces the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, describing their social life, customs, and history.
Author: Kelly E. Graf, Caroline V. Ketron, Michael R. Waters
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
As research continues on the earliest migration of modern humans into North and South America, the current state of knowledge about these first Americans is continually evolving. Especially with recent advances in human genomic studies, both of living populations and ancient skeletal remains, new light is being shed in the ongoing quest toward understanding the full complexity and timing of prehistoric migration patterns. Paleoamerican Odyssey collects thirty-one studies presented at the 2013 conference by the same name, hosted in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University. Providing an up-to-date view of the current state of knowledge in paleoamerican studies, the research gathered in this volume, presented by leaders in the field, focuses especially on late Pleistocene Northeast Asia, Beringia, and North and South America, as well as dispersal routes, molecular genetics, and Clovis and pre-Clovis archaeology.