Friends of America's Past

The Earliest Americans

Who were the earliest Americans? We know that at some time in the past no people lived in North or South America. We have been taught that big game hunters crossed the Bering Land Bridge and spread out across the continents. But is this simple scenario the whole story? Evidence from scientific fields (archaeology, physical anthropology, paleontology, climatology, and geology) suggests more complex events that reach back in time, long before the land bridge. To date, the oldest archeology sites are found in South America rather than North America. And so far, the oldest sites found in the United States are in the southeast. How do we interpret intriguing and often conflicting hints about the past? Science offers the process to test hypotheses using factual evidence. This evidence must be preserved, and scientists must be allowed to study it, if we hope to identify and understand the lives of the earliest Americans. Unfortunately, attempts to create legislative limits are increasing.

News & Comment
New discoveries and what others say about them

Conferences & Papers
Conferences and papers of interest that have been published elsewhere

Challenges to Preserving the Past
Map: Evidence of other early Americans, lost or in jeopardy, and the challenges to preserve them.

Proposed legislation at the state and federal levels challenge access to public lands and limit options for private land owners.