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The chronology of migration models is currently divided into two general approaches.
The first is the short chronology theory with the first movement beyond Alaska into the New World occurring no earlier than 14,000–17,000 years ago, followed by successive waves of immigrants.
Over the course of thousands of years, paleo-Indian people domesticated, bred and cultivated a number of plant species.
These species were very nutritious, and they now constitute 50–60% of all crops in cultivation worldwide.
It was not until the nineteenth century that the work of men such as John Lloyd Stephens, Eduard Seler and Alfred P.
Maudslay, and of institutions such as the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard University, led to the reconsideration and criticism of the European sources.
Genetic evidence found in Amerindians' maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mt DNA) supports the theory of multiple genetic populations migrating from Asia.
Before the development of archaeology in the 19th century, historians of the pre-Columbian period mainly interpreted the records of the European conquerors and the accounts of early European travelers and antiquaries.The Paleo-Indians were hunter-gatherers, likely characterized by small, mobile bands consisting of approximately 20 to 50 members of an extended family.These groups moved from place to place as preferred resources were depleted and new supplies were sought. These included distinctive projectile points and knives, as well as less distinctive implements used for butchering and hide processing.As early as 6500 BCE, people in the Lower Mississippi Valley at the Monte Sano site were building complex earthwork mounds, probably for religious purposes.