AMERICAN WEST TIMELINE: 15th CENTURY and Before




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WEST TIMELINE 15th CENTURY and BEFORE

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Most recently updated: 17 March 2001
This web page draws partiallyily on FACTS as listed in "The Timetables of Science", by Alexander Hellemans and Bryan Bunch [New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988].
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35,000 BC: The Late Wisconsin Glaciation begins in North America 35,000 BC: Cro-Magnons displace Neanderthals in Europe. "Concluding this story without giving tribute to an enigma in our history would not be proper. The Homo sapiens neandertalensis does not quite fit in our story. They probably came from far northern Europe, the descendants of an ancient Homo erectus tribe, a tribe that had migrated to that region many hundreds of thousands of years before. They had many physical characteristics of the modern Eskimo, who is well tuned to arctic living. They were stocky, almost massive, in build. The males were about 5'6" tall but they were much heavier and stronger than modern man. They had the large pronounced cheeks usually associated with cold weather adaptation. They walked as erectly as modern man. Their tools paralleled the coexisting Homo sapiens sapiens, but it is not known who copied. Although lacking a forehead, they had brains that averaged 1450cc, about 8% larger than modern man. They were the first to bury their dead, complete with flowers and artifacts. Were they cunning beasts? Or were they gentle and intelligent people? And what happened to them?" Adapted from onelife.com 28,000 B.C.: "Earliest settlers cross the Bering land bridge into North America." This is now vigorously debated within the archeology community, with some scientists claiming that there were several waves of settlement of North America, from Siberia, and by sea across the Pacific ocean. 28,000 BC: The Earth's climate system entered another big freeze-up; temperatures fell, deserts expanded and ice sheets spread across the northern latitudes much as they had done 70,000 years ago. This cold and arid phase which reached its most extreme point sometime around [19,000-15,000 BC] is known as the Last Glacial Cold Stage (and is sometimes called the Upper Pleniglacial)." "A quick background to the last ice age" 20,000-18,000 BC: Last Ice Age 10,000 B.C.: "Fluted-stone weapon points found at Clovis, New Mexico, are used to hunt large Ice Age mammals." 9000-8000 B.C.: The Maya make astronomical inscriptions and constructions in Central America. [Hellemans p.6] 8000 B.C.: "The Bering land bridge is submerged as ocean levels rise at the end of the Ice Age." 8000-7000 B.C.: Potatoes are domesticated in Peru [Hellemans p.7] 8000-7000 B.C.: Beans are domesticated in Peru [Hellemans p.7] 7,000-6,200 BC: "climates warmer and often moister than today's" "A quick background to the last ice age" 7000-6000 B.C.: Farming based on corn (maize), squash, beans, and peppers is practiced in the Tehuacan valley of Mexico [Hellemans p.7] 6,200 BC: "sudden cool and dry phase in many areas" "A quick background to the last ice age" 6000 BC to 5000 BC: Squash is cultivated in Mexico. [Hellemans p.7] 6000 BC to 5000 BC: Chinchorro Indians on what is now the coastline of Chile and Peru produce human mummies that survive until today [Hellemans p.7] 5000-4000 B.C.: The llama and alpaca are domesticated in Peru [Hellemans p.9] 5000-4000 B.C.: Avocados are grown in Mexico [Hellemans p.9] 4000 B.C.: "As Ice Age mammals become extinct, hunter-gatherer culture develops on the Plains." 4000 BC: Native North- and South-Americans, descended from Asians who'd crossed the land bridge across the Bering Strait long ago, hunted and cultivated corn. Archaological evidence of Mastodons driven to extinction, and arrowheads and spear points found in caves in Clovis and Folsom, New Mexico, establish that these natives lived in the New World for millennia -- how many millennia is subject to debate. [1979 Hammond Almanac, p.788] 100 B.C.: "Farming appears among the Mogollon peoples of the southwest. The availability of this stable food source leads to the development of permanent pit-house settlements." 100 A.D.: "Anasazi culture emerges in the southwest, marked by advanced basket-making, simple farming and construction of above-ground adobe dwellings." 500: "Obsidian, copper, pearls and other materials found in Ohio Valley Hopewell burial mounds provide evidence of an extensive transcontinental trade network." 1000: "The Hopi and Acoma pueblos are established in the southwest. The Anasazi construct cliff-house communities and large apartment-like complexes of up to 1,000 rooms." 1300: "The Anasazi abandon their great adobe cliff dwellings. Incursions by the newly-arrived Apache and Navajo, coupled with a prolonged drought, are suspected as the cause of their flight." 1490: :At the close of the prehistoric period, the people of the West form approximately 240 distinct tribal groupings and speak an estimated 300 different languages." 1492: "Christopher Columbus arrives in the Western hemisphere; centuries of cross-cultural exchange begin." See the following History Timeline Cosmic Timeline: From Creation to Prehistory

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