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A Journey to a New Land

Mammoth and Scimitar Cat

14,000 Years Ago

Americas at 14000 BP

Fourteen thousand years ago, North America looked very different than it does today. The world was caught in the grip of the ice age, and most of the northern hemisphere was covered in a thick blanket of ice. Life could not exist on the ice, so for thousands of years no people or animals disturbed the silence of this barren, glacier-covered land. South of the ice sheets and in northern areas too dry for ice, giant bears, lions and saber-toothed cats competed for prey that included mammoths and ground sloths.
Learn more about Animals of the Ice Age

During this time, huge glaciers covered almost all of Canada and the northern United States (and much of northern Europe and Asia as well). In some places, the ice sheets were two kilometres thick! A great deal of the earth’s water supply was trapped in these huge masses of ice, so sea levels around the world dropped by as much as 100-150 meters. Large areas of land at the edges of the continents emerged from the ocean and were soon colonized by plants and animals. One such landmass, the Bering Land Bridge, connected North America and Asia throughout most of the ice age.
Learn more about Bering Land Bridge

Were people living in the Americas by 14,000 years ago? Some archaeologists think so. Radiocarbon dates and stone tools from a handful of archaeological sites indicate that people may have been living in the Americas for as long as 20,000 years or more. Many archaeologists, however, believe that more evidence is needed.
Learn more about these early sites:
Bluefish Caves, Yukon
Pedra Furada, Brazil