PREHISTORY refers to the period before there was written history. In BC human prehistory begins with the disappearance of the last glaciers about 13,000 years ago and the subsequent arrival of the earliest inhabitants. Scientists believe that the Americas were populated by migrants from Asia, who crossed an ice-free land bridge between Siberia and Alaska at least 15,000–13,000 years ago, possibly much earlier. These early migrants, known as Paleoindians, may have passed south along the coast,...

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