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25 February, 05:37

Describe what the archeological record tells us about the arrival, development, and cultures of the first peoples of North America

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  1. 25 February, 06:37
    The archaeological record of early human cultures goes back 13,000 or 13,500 and is best represented by characteristic arrowheads remains. Since these arrowheads were first found near the town Clovis, New Mexico, the name, Clovis, has been used to refer to these people. Findings of arrowheads and burned/cooked animal bones evidence a nomadic lifestyle based on hunting and gathering for survival.

    Around 1000 B. C., an early civilization called the Adena culture by archaeologists, appeared around 1,000 BC and its main hallmark was the construction of hundreds of mounds throughout the west coast of today's United States. The people of this culture apparently lived in permanent or semi-permanent settlements and their livelihood still depended on hunting and gathering plus a limited use of agriculture. Their decline took place around 200 A. D.

    The next main civilization to emerge, known as the Hopewell Culture emerged around 200 B. C. on today's U. S. west coast. This civilization reached a significant level of sophistication evidenced by the development of full-scale agriculture, the construction of earthen mounds (their purpose is still under debate) and the presence of long distance trade. By 500 A. D., this civilization rapidly declined and disappeared from the archaeological records.

    On the west coast, the most prominent culture to emerge was the Pueblo Culture long known as Anasazi. This word is disliked by the Hopi people (who claim to be descendants of the "ancient ones") since it i a Navajo word and it means "ancient enemy." On the other hand, the Spanish word pueblo (village, town) has been used to refer to this people after the dwelling complexes they carved onto rock cliffs. This civilization thrived between 700 and 1300 A. D. in the South West, in a time when water supplies were more abundant and allowed agriculture to support a rather sizable population. Apparently a series of protracted droughts and the ensuing diminishing water supply forced these Puebloan peoples to abandon their towns carved in stone and resettle around the area.
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