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Pre-Columbian Era

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Pre-Columbian Era

Trivia powered by Prof. WalterIt is not definitively known how or when the American Indians first settle the Americas and the present-day United States. The prevailing theory proposes that people migrated from Eurasia across Beringia, a land bridge that connects Siberia to present-day Alaska during the Ice Age, and then spreads southward throughout the Americas and possibly going as far south as the Antarctic peninsula. This migration may have begun as early as 30,000 years ago and continues through to about 10,000+ years ago, when the land bridge becomes submerged by the rising sea level caused by the ending of the last glacial period. These early inhabitants, called Paleoamericans, soon diversifies into many hundreds of culturally distinct nations and tribes.

The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during the Early Modern period. While technically referring to the era before Christopher Columbus' voyages of 1492 to 1504, in practice the term usually includes the history of American indigenous cultures until they were conquered or significantly influenced by Europeans, even if this happened decades or even centuries after Columbus' initial landing.

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