Movement of People to the Americas

July 17, 2006

Q. There seems to be evidence of settlement of North America earlier than the 13,000 years ago via the Bering Land Bridge accepted as "standard". There is also evidence of South American settlement at much earlier dates than theorized. Did the earliest human settlers arrive here in several ways? Land bridge on foot from Asia, boats across Pacific in southern parts, maybe even some northern Atlantic? If so, then are South American aboriginals not closely related to North American?

A. As we have said before, the movement of Mongolic people to the Americas was not a single, discreet event, but in fact, a series of "waves" lasting more than fifteen thousand years and continuing until the available ice no longer made such a crossing possible. They did not all, on a single occasion, up and decide en masse to go eastward to the Americas, they did it gradually, in marginalized groups, and in small but steady increments.

We wish to remind you of the standard human responses to threats: attack, retreat, concealment, and negotiation. When none of these will succeed, the human species, being highly adaptable, will move. In the case of the movement into the Americas, the first four methods did little to halt the ice age, and therefore the humans were compelled to the fifth solution -- moving, to follow their food supply. The climate of earth was changing ar the time, fairly quickly and dramatically, which made the distance of moving greater than it would have been in less disruptive conditions. Among the first to cross, there were efforts to get as far away from the icy conditions as possible, and many of them migrated slowly to South America. Many of the middle portion of the wave spread out across available lands at the edge of the ice, adapting their cultures to their surroundings as climate and circumstances required. As the ice drew back, the last of the crossers made their way with sleds and boats. A few of these made their way down the Pacific Coast for a considerable distance, eventually reaching well into South America. Although coming from a common ethno-genetic pool, there are distinct groupal characteristics to the peoples of each phase of the move.