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A Journey to a New Land

Post secondary Level Resources

A South to North Migration?

Some researchers now believe that the ice-free corridor was settled in a northerly, rather than a southerly, direction.

Geologic evidence indicates that de-glaciation in the corridor region may have occurred first in the south, so the ice-free corridor actually opened in a south to north direction. Spear points found at the Charlie Lake Cave site in northern British Columbia are similar to those found to the south at the earlier sites of Indian Creek and Mill Iron, Montana. This suggests that the tool technology was developed in the southern part of the continent, before the tool-makers and their descendants moved north. Finally, an analysis of bison remains found at Charlie Lake Cave revealed that some of the bison at the site were descended from populations that lived south of the ice sheets (B. bison antiquus).

The dates from Charlie Lake Cave are also earlier then many of the Clovis sites found in the south, which means that Charlie Lake Cave is not evidence of an early Clovis migration through the ice-free corridor. These lines of evidence have led some archaeologists to hypothesize that as the ice-free corridor environment became viable, herds of bison migrated north through the corridor. They were followed by small groups of hunters whose ancestors had reached the Great Plains via another, as yet undetermined, route.

Archaeology in the Ice-Free Corridor
Geology in the Ice-Free Corridor
Environment of the Ice-Free Corridor
A South to North Migration?


QuickTime videos:

Dr. Knut Fladmark

Dr. Knut Fladmark
Department of Archaeology
Simon Fraser University

Dr. Michael Wilson

Dr. Michael Wilson
Geology Department
Douglas College