Presentation on theme: "U NIT 1 E ARLY L IFE, E AST AND W EST Chapter 1: Life in the Western Hemisphere."— Presentation transcript:
U NIT 1 E ARLY L IFE, E AST AND W EST Chapter 1: Life in the Western Hemisphere
Lesson 1: Migration to the Americas 20,000 years ago low temperatures caused long areas of Earth’s water to freeze, forming thick sheets of ice called glaciers. We call this period of time the Ice Age. This was a long period of extreme cold. Low temperatures caused large areas of Earth’s water to freeze, forming thick sheets of ice, or glaciers. As the map on this page shows, much of Earth’s water was frozen into glaciers. The Bering Strait is a narrow stretch of water that separates Asia from North America. During the Ice Age, the Bering Strait became shallower. Land that had been underwater was uncovered, forming a long land bridge that linked Asia and North America.
People first began to migrate or move, to the Americas between 40,000 to 10,000 years ago. The land bridge gave historians a theory or a possible explanation. Perhaps large animals began to cross the land bridge from Asia. Perhaps hunters began to follow these animals on foot. As the animals moved deeper into North America, so did the hunters. Some scholars think that early people may have migrated to the Americas by boat. Perhaps both theories are right and different people arrived in different ways. The first Americans migrated throughout North America and South America. They lived in many different environments. They adapted, or changed, their ways of living to meet the challenges of these environments. Lesson 1: Migration to the Americas
Life was a struggle for the earliest people in the Americas. Getting enough food to eat for all was often a challenge. So they lived in small groups of people. Their way of life centered on hunting. They depended on wandering herds of animals for food, so they moved often. The early people used more than food from animals like the mammoth. They stripped the hides from the animals and made clothes from them. They also stretched hides over wood frames to make their temporary homes. They made tools like needles and scrapers from the animal’s bones and tusks. The early people also made tools from stone. Pressing one stone against another, they chipped spear points, knives, and hand axes. Lesson 1: Migration to the Americas - Ways of Life
The earliest people left no written record of how they lived. How do we know about their lives? Clues they left behind—called artifacts— tell us. An artifact is an object that someone made in the past. Archaeologists are scientists who interpret these clues. Archaeologists study the artifacts of people who lived long ago and draw conclusions from them. For example, sturdy bone needles reveal that people stitched strong hides together to make their clothing, blankets, and even shelter. What might the spear points on this page tell archaeologists? They tell that the early people hunted for their food. Lesson 1: Migration to the Americas - Ways of Life
About 10,000 years ago, the Ice Age gradually came to an end. Earth’s climate began to get warmer and glaciers melted. As time passed some of the large Ice Age animals became extinct, or died out. Perhaps they could not adapt to the new climate. Or perhaps the hunters had killed them off. Whatever the cause, the first Americans had to find new food sources. They continued to hunt for smaller animals and to fish. They also gathered plants that grew wild, like grains, root vegetables, berries, and nuts. Hunters had become hunter-gatherers, but they were still on the move. They moved with the seasons to find whatever foods each season provided. Then, about 7,000 years ago in present day Mexico, people began to learn how to grow food themselves. Instead of gathering wild grain, they started planting its seeds. Agriculture made it possible for people to settle in one place. Now wandering bands of hunter-gatherers could become members of settled communities Lesson 1: Migration to the Americas – Changing Way of Life
In the picture we can see the snake-like mound. It is called the Great Serpent Mound, and it is located near Hillsboro, Ohio. It was built more than 1,000 years ago by people often called the Mound Builders. They were one of several early American Indian groups that once flourished in North America, and then disappeared. Lesson 2: Early American Cultures - The Mound Builders Today we find signs of towns that no longer exist in many parts of our continent. The Mound Builders culture began about 3,000 years ago and lasted about 2,500 years. Most Mound Builders lived east of the Mississippi River. The land there is rich in forests, fertile soil, lakes, and rivers. The Mound Builders were farmers who lived in settled communities. Their main crop was corn.
The Mound Builders were not a single group of people. The three main groups were the Adena, Hopewell, and Mississippians. They built thousands of mounds, in many different shapes. At Cahokia in present-day Illinois, a mound rises 100 feet, as tall as a 10-story building. Lesson 2: Early American Cultures - The Mound Builders Some mounds were burial places for important chiefs. Some, like the Great Serpent Mound, may have been built to honor animal spirits that were part of the Mound Builders’ religion. This mound can be seen today at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in lllinois. Many of the mounds had platforms where religious or other ceremonies were held.
The Mound Builders left many clues about their way of life for archaeologists to study. Being able to build such enormous structures shows that they were well organized. Hundreds or even thousands of workers had to be directed to dig up tons of earth with the hand tools available. Then the earth had to be moved —often over long distances—to a mound location. Finally, workers had to create the shape the builder planned. Artifacts also tell us that trade was important to their builders. Knives found in mounds were carved from a rock called obsidian that came from the Rocky Mountains, hundreds of miles to the west. Seashells used in jewelry came from the Gulf of Mexico, hundreds of miles to the south. Copper came hundreds of miles from near the Great Lakes, to the north. Mica, a glittering mineral the people of Cahokia prized, came from the Appalachian Mountains far to the east. Lesson 2: Early American Cultures - The Mound Builders
Another early farming group, called the Anasazi, lived in what is today the Southwest of the United States. Their name is a Navajo Indian word for the old ones. Anasazi communities were located in an area today called the Four Corners. Four present-day states come together here. The Anasazi lived in this area from about the year 100 to about 1300. The Anasazi grew corn, squash, beans, and pumpkins. Like the Mound Builders, they lived in permanent communities. Although the climate of the Four Corners region is dry, it did not limit the Anasazi’s farming. They dug ditches to carry water from streams to the crops in their fields. The Anasazi were the first people to use irrigation in what would become the United States. Lesson 2: Early American Cultures – The Anasazi
The Anasazi are also known as the Cliff Dwellers because they sometimes carved houses into the sides of cliffs. They also built apartment-style buildings several stories high on the top of mesas. A mesa is a high, flat landform that rises steeply from the land around it. Mesa means table in Spanish. Let’s visit the Anasazi commiunity of Mesa Verde, in present-day Colorado. Here you can see a large village built into steep cliffs. If you look up, you see large overhanging rocks. These protect the people from bad weather as well as from attack by their enemies. The largest building is the Cliff Palace, which has about 150 rooms. Lesson 2: Early American Cultures – The Anasazi
Cliff Palace, also has 23 kivas, which are large underground rooms. Kivas are important to Anasazi religion. They are where religious ceremonies are held. Only men are allowed to enter a kiva. Anasazi culture reached its height in the 1100s. But then something mysterious happened. The Anasazi suddenly abandoned their villages in the Four Corners region. Why did they leave? Where did they go? No one knows for sure. One theory is that a drought or a long period without rain, forced them to leave. Streams dried up and irrigation became impossible. The Anasazi had to move to places where there was enough water for farming. Historians believe that the Pueblo peoples of today’s Southwest, including the Hopi, are descended from the Anasazi. Lesson 2: Early American Cultures – The Anasazi
The Anasazi and Mound Builders established early cultures in what today is the United States