Early American History
The First Americans
Bering Strait
Ice Age
land bridge
Key Concepts
Over the Land Bridge
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The last Ice Age ended about 10,000 years ago. During that time, prehistoric people were living on the earth. Prehistoric people were hunters and gathers. They hunted animals and they gathered plants for food.

Climate changes effected the topography or shape of the land. When the glaciers were growing, the oceans became smaller and land bridges appeared. When the glaciers were melting, land paths across continents appeared, and the oceans became larger and covered more of the land .

Climate changes allowed prehistoric people to migrate out of Africa into
Europe. All people of the world have their roots in Africa. All our
prehistoric ancestors came from Africa. Over time, Prehistoric people
continued to migrate into southern Asia, and eventually into Siberia and the Americas.

When climate changes uncovered the Beringia land bridge (10,000 - 12,000
years ago) , the Ancient Native Americans were able to migrate from Asia into Alaska. Then the Ancient Native Americans migrated south through North America and into South America .
Additional Information
Beringia - During the ice age, the Bering Sea climate was mild. The 18 mile wide Bering Strait was dry and formed the Beringia Land Bridge . Beringia was 1,000 miles long, from north to south. Beringia was a good place to live during prehistoric times. It had open grasslands, and clear lakes for fishing. It also had forests for hunting animals and gathering berries.

glaciers - Glaciers formed during the ice age. Glaciers are like huge blankets of snow. During the ice age, much of the earth's water was frozen in
glaciers. So the oceans were smaller and low. Glaciers covered much of
the land in the north
. Some of the glaciers were more than one mile high. Surprisingly during the ice age, the climate was warm around the Bering Sea. Much of Alaska and Siberia did not have ice and glaciers.

ice age - A time when much of the earth was covered with glaciers.

land bridges - Beringia was not the only land bridge. There was also a land bridge from Asia to Australia, and a wide land bridge between North and South America.

mammoth - Mammoths were bigger than today's elephants. Their tusks were as long as 16 feet. Scientists think mammoths may have used their tusks like snowplows to dig for grass in the ice and snow.

migrate - Some Prehistoric people walked across the Beringia Land Bridge. They followed and hunted the giant mammoths. Some prehistoric people used boats like kayaks Kayaks were probably made from bone frames and covered with animal skins. Animals also migrated across Beringia.

nomads - Before there were farmers, early peoples did not have a settled home. They traveled from place to place. They followed herds of animals to hunt. The nomads gathered plant foods along the way.

prehistoric -The time before there were any written records.

Siberia -A region in north central Asia, mostly in today's Russia .

tools - Prehistoric people made most of their tools out of stone. That is why prehistoric times are often called the Stone Age. Stones were used to
make spearheads and axes . Stones were hollowed out to make a cooking pot for food. Tools were also made from bone. Prehistoric people made a kind of flute from a hollowed out piece of bone.

topography -The features of the land (hills, mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers,streams).