Entering America

Northeast Asia and Beringia Before the Last Glacial Maximum

Where did the first Americans come from and when did they get here? That basic question of American archaeology, long thought to have been solved, is re-emerging as a critical issue as the number of well-excavated sites dating to pre-Clovis times increases. It now seems possible that small populations of human foragers entered the Americas prior to the creation of the continental glacial barrier. While the archaeological and paleoecological aspects of a post-glacial entry have been well studied, there is little work available on the possibility of a pre-glacial entry.

Entering America seeks to fill that void by providing the most up-to-date information on the nature of environmental and cultural conditions in northeast Asia and Beringia (the Bering land bridge) immediately prior to the Last Glacial Maximum. Because the peopling of the New World is a question of international archaeological interest, this volume will be important to specialists and nonspecialists alike.

D. B. Madsen is a research associate at the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Science at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada and at the Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory at the University of Texas, Austin.

Table of Contents:

Table of Contents:
1. Colonization of the Americas before the Last Glacial Maximum: Issues and Problems ~ David B. Madsen

I. Environmental Conditions in Northeast Asia and Northwestern North America
2. Paleoenvironmental Conditions in Western Beringia Before and During the Last Glacial Maximum ~ Julie Brigham-Grette, Anatoly V. Lozhkin, Patricia M. Anderson, Olga Y. Glushkova
3. Environments of Northwest North America before the Last Glacial Maximum ~ John J. Clague, Rolf W. Mathewes, and Thomas A. Ager

II. The Implications of American Archaeology for a Pre- or Post-Late Glacial Maximum Occupation of the New World
4. Late Wisconsin Environments and Archaeological Visibility on the Northern Northwest Coast ~ Daryl W. Fedje, Quentin Mackie, E. James Dixon, and Timothy H. Heaton
5. Pre-Clovis Sites and their Implications for Human Occupation Before the Last Glacial Maximum ~ J. M. Adovasio and David R. Pedler
6. The Nature of Clovis Blades and Blade Cores ~ Michael B. Collins and Jon C. Lohse

III. Human Genetics and Forager Mobility
7. Molecular Genetic Diversity in Siberians and Native Americans Suggests an Early Colonization of the New World ~ Theodore G. Schurr
8. Hunter-Gatherer Population Expansion In North Asia And The New World ~ Robert L. Bettinger and David A. Young

IV. The Archaeology of Northeast Asia
9. Time-Space Dynamics in the Early Upper Paleolithic of Northeast Asia ~ P. Jeffrey Brantingham, Kristopher W. Kerry, Andrei I. Krivoshapkin, Yaroslav V. Kuzman
10. Humans along the Pacific Margin of Northeast Asia before the Last Glacial Maximum: Evidence for Their Presence and Adaptations ~ Fumiko Ikawa-Smith
11. The Search for a Clovis Progenitor in Subarctic Siberia ~ Ted Goebel

V. Commentary
12. On Possibilities, Prospecting, and Patterns: Thinking about a Pre-LGM Human Presence in the Americas ~ David J. Meltzer
13. Monte Verde, Field Archaeology, and the Human Colonization of the Americas ~ Donald K. Grayson
14. Recapitulation: The Relative Probabilities of Late Pre-LGM or Early Post-LGM Ages for the Initial Occupation of the Americas ~ David B. Madsen


Praise and Reviews:

"Provides the most up-to-date information on a topic of lasting interest."—C. Melvin Aikens, University of Oregon

"A wealth of new information of lasting value. A gold mine of current research, …and thoughtful discussion."—Journal of Field Archaeology

"This book is worth reading if you are looking for paleoenvironmental or archaeological information not generally available elsewhere, or if you are an interested outsider seeking the bigger picture of the peopling of the Americas."—Antiquity