AbstractsGeography &GIS

Possible arrival times for early man in the New World

by Frank Myers Hanna

Institution: California State University – Northridge
Department: Department of Geography.
Degree: MA
Year: 1973
Keywords: Dissertations, Academic  – CSUN  – Geography.
Record ID: 1525325
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/118307


The Bering land bridge is a broad platform connecting Alaska and Siberia, exposed by glacio-eustatic lowering of sea level 300 to 525 feet. The climate of Beringia is in dispute; this paper suggests either (1) the climate was mild, or (2) Early Man was culturally equipped to withstand artic climates. Palynological studies indicate that trees were never present. Vegetation did support herds of grazing animals. Man could have entered North America only during glaciation (lowered sea level) and could have moved south through Canada only during interglaciation (corridor through Canadian ice) ??? These conditions were not contemporaneous and non-glaciated central Alaska was thus a "lock segment" for moving populations of animals and men, cut off at one end by ice or at the other by water. North and South American archaeological sites show Early ~1an in sub-glacial America during glaciation and the lock segment passage requires that he enter Alaska during a previous glacial episode. Other archaeological evidence indicates that Early Man was culturally equipped to survive a polar climate. Graphical presentation of the data demonstrates three major episodes of movement into North America herein called Calico, Sandia I and II, and Recent. These movements began in Asia 120,000~ 65,000~ and 25,000 years ago and left Alaska to cross Canada 90,000~ 45,000; and 9,000 years ago. The average rate of movement was 2,250 miles in 10,000 years, making the theme of expansion of territory more logical than that of migration.