lecture6 - Lecture 6 Precolumbian American Overview...

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Precolumbian American Overview Beringia Pleistocene Age 1,000,000 years ago - 8,000 BC Last Ice Age end was around 8,000 BC Ice sheets were more than a mile thick there was enough of the earth’s surface under water that the ocean’s level was extremely low dry land between alaska and north america - Beringia Beringia could have been as much as 1000 miles long dates of Beringia can go back to 50,000 BC stayed in alaska until Wisconsin glaciation disappeared Wisconsin glaciation included in last ice age humans walked along continental divide animals led way - humans followed animals Bering Strait people cam across Bering Strait Megafuana mammoths, mastadons, horses human beings that managed to kill mammoths/mastadons could become hunter-gatherers what happened to them? One of theories is the overkill hypothesis Overkill hypothesis animals fell into tar pits - bones are perfectly preserved became extinct between 13,000-12,000 BC overkill - humans did it animals lived in large herds - hunters easily spotted them provided a lot of food brought skills developed from Eurasia - animals had no resistance - large animals did not fear them animals quite reproducing because they are always on the run However, people believe it is impossible that early humans could kill all these species Natural die-offs and extinction Climate change caused extinction of large mammals ETs theory of extinction megafuana deaths occurred at these “clovis sites” very quickly - bones are consistent with where they are right under animal bones there is a layer of black, organic material - consistent throughout sites appears to be result of major biomass burn Clovis cultures basically ended at same time a comet came and broke apart Lecture 6
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pieces hit all over north america, causing large fres to break out blackened skies, ash, causing great impact on biological liFe, thus extinction Paleo-Indians ancient, date back to about 8,000 BC were big game hunters
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This note was uploaded on 09/01/2009 for the course ENV S ENV S 3 taught by Professor Graves during the Spring '08 term at UCSB.

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lecture6 - Lecture 6 Precolumbian American Overview...

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