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A Journey to a New Land

Yesterday's camel
Post secondary Level Resources

Bering Land Bridge

The land bridge that once connected Siberia to Alaska was located in the centre of Beringia. The Bering Land Bridge was an expanse of continental shelf that emerged during periods of glaciation, when worldwide sea levels dropped considerably. It was open intermittently during the early and middle phases of the Wisconsinan Glaciation (75,000 to 25,000 years ago) and then remained open throughout most of the Late Wisconsinan Glaciation (25,000 to 10,000 years BP).

The concept of a land bridge may imply a narrow, restricted passageway, but the Bering Land Bridge was in fact a large area of land, about the size of British Columbia and Alberta put together, and up to 1000 kilometers wide in places. It is thought to have been the route traveled by the first settlers of the Americas, as they made their way from Siberia into Alaska and from there to the rest of North and South America. It was also a migratory pathway for a wide variety of terrestrial mammals from lemmings to mammoth.

As the ice age waned, glaciers began melting and sea levels around the world began rising. By about 10,500 years BP, the Bering Land Bridge had disappeared, and the continents of North America and Asia were once again separated by the waters of the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea.

This movie clip is available here

Download free QuickTime player.

Manley, W.F., 2002, Postglacial Flooding of the Bering Land Bridge: A Geospatial Animation: INSTAAR, University of Colorado, v1,

Other Evidence
Archaeology in Siberia
Bering Land Bridge


QuickTime videos:

Dr. Barbara Winter

Dr. Barbara Winter
SFU Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology