Social Studies - Mound Builders

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Scientists believe that the first Americans migrated, or moved, to the Americas from Asia. They disagree, however about how and when this movement took place. Some ancient people may have crossed a land bridge, known as beringia, that joined Asia and North America during the last Ice Age. The ice age which lasted for thousands of years was a period of extreme cold in which glaciers trapped so much water that ocean levels dropped. The scientists who hold this theory believe the earliest Americans arrived 12,000 years ago. Other scientists believe humans came to the Americas much earlier. They have found artifacts in South America that tests show to be 30,000years old. These scientists believe that people came to the Americas by many routes, including by boat over thousands of years . A culture is a way of life that people share including arts beliefs and customs. The first people to live in the Americas thousands of years ago lived in hunting and gathering cultures. They hunted animals and gathering wild seeds nuts fruits and berries. In time people on different parts of the world began planting seeds. This was the beginning of agriculture. About 5,000 years ago humans began to domesticate plants and animals. Domestication is the practice of breeding plants ot taming animals to meet human needs. People in central Mexico learned to grow corn which became an important food source. Agriculture spread throughout the America’s. Having a stable food supply changes the way people lived. Once they no longer had to travel to find food they built permanent villages and focused their energy on many different activities. Slowly some cultures grew complex and became civilizations. A civilization has five features: (1) cities that are centers of trade (2) specialized jobs for different people (3) organized forms of government and religion (4) a system of record keeping
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