Chapter 1:New World Encounters and the Columbian ExchangeI.Native American Origins A.Environment, Change, and Human History 1.Human evolution has proceeded against a backdrop of great Ice Ages. The latest one occurring only 20,000 BCE years agoa.Human settlement in the Americas began during the Wisconsin glaciation period with migrations traversing across Beringia from northwest Asia present day Siberia in Russia across to North America. b.Later a warming trend nine thousand years ago BCE led Native American Indians to shift from game hunting to other forms of survival. c.The majority of North America’s original inhabitants descended from three separate migrating groups: the Paleo-Indians, the Na-Dene people, and the Eskimo (generic term). These people are descendants of the Chukta (Siberia) who were the ancestors of Mesopotamian Middle-Eastern inhabitants whose forefathers originated in Africa less than 60,000 BCE.B.Seedtime for Native Cultures in North America 1.During the Archaic phase (5500BCE-200 CE) American Indians developed a new way of life. a.Permanent settlement appeared. b.Greater reliance on vegetables and on small game and fish emerged. c.Finer stone tools were developed. d.Dogs were domesticated, making possible easier transport of goods. 2.Permanent settlement led to population growth, more free time, and to the emergence of art. 3.Farming in permanent settlements also appeared during the Archaic phase. a.Forests were cleared to plant crops. b.The inhabitants of north central Mexico developed maize(teosinte), from where it spread. c.Crop cultivation eventually spread as far as the woodland Indians of North America.
C.The Complex World of the Native American 1.American Indian communities differed widely. a.The inhabitants of the Arctic region diverged racially and culturally from all other American Indian groups. b.American Indians in eastern North America practiced agriculture, hunting, and fishing. c.On the edge of the Western Plains, migration from site to site persisted. But no Great Plains culture existed yet.2.American Indians traded widely with each other. 3.North America’s inhabitants constructed large earthen mounds thatserved as ceremonial and trading centers. a.Hopewell culture remains at Cahokia indicate it was a center for the exchange of ideas and produce from all over the Western Hemisphere. b.The Mississippian culture built ceremonial and trading centers that had contact with Mexico’s Mayas. 4.In the Eastern Woodlands, people lived in smaller villages where they combined agriculture with hunting and gathering. a.A dominant matriarch supervised the daily tasks of runningthe household. 5.Indians in the Southwest were closely tied to Mexico but continuedto engage in hunting and gathering longer than their counterparts south of the border.