Who were the original North American settlers some fifteen thousand years ago, and where and how did they arrive? What kind of landscape did they find and how did their societies develop? This is the compelling and little-known history that Brian Fagan recounts, drawing on cutting edge research in many disciplines, ranging from archaeology and ethnohistory to climatology, chemistry, and physics.
Fagan describes the controversies over the first settlement, which probably occurred via Siberia toward the end of the Ice Age, and the debates over the routes used as humans moved south into the heart of the continent. A remarkable diversity of hunter-gatherer societies evolved in the rapidly changing North American environments, and the book explores the ingenious ways in which people adapted to every kind of landscape imaginable, from arctic tundra to open plains and thick woodland.