Over 15,000 years ago, a band of hunter-gatherers became the first people to set foot in the Americas. They soon found themselves in a world rich in plants and animals, but also a world still shivering itself out of the coldest depths of the Ice Age. The movement of those first Americans was one of the greatest journeys undertaken by ancient peoples. In this book, David Meltzer explores the world of Ice Age Americans, highlighting genetic, archaeological, and geological evidence that has revolutionized our understanding of their origins, antiquity, and adaptation to climate and environmental change. This fully updated edition integrates the most recent scientific discoveries, including the ancient genome revolution and human evolutionary and population history. Written for a broad audience, the book can serve as the primary text in courses on North American Archaeology, Ice Age Environments, and Human evolution and prehistory.
2. Glaciers, climates and environments of Ice Age North America
3. The search for Ice Age Americans: the path from Paleoliths to Paleoindians
4. Ascertaining archaeological evidence of antiquity
5. What language, skeletal anatomy and genetics reveal (or not) of the population history of the Americas
6. Who, from where, when and how? The search for consensus
7. What do you do when no one's been there before?
8. Clovis adaptations and Pleistocene Megafaunal extinctions
9. Settling in: late Paleoindians and the waning ice age
10. When past and present collide
David Meltzer is the Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory at Southern Methodist University. He has conducted archaeological research throughout North America, and is the author of 10 books and nearly 190 scientific articles. He is a fellow of the United State National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Reviews of the first edition:
"A must read for anyone interested in what is undeniable the greatest debate in American archaeology [...] Essential."
"A masterful exploration and encapsulation of the last two centuries of American archaeology and the first five millennia of the earliest Americans."
– American Scientist
"Informative and entertaining."
"A good review of topics and controversies surrounding the peopling of North America."
– Great Plains Research