When Christopher Columbus discovered America, he found that people of distinct color and costume existed there. These people are spread all over American continent, in North, Central and South America. They developed great civilizations like Maya and Inca. Today we know these people as Native Americans, American Indians, Red Indians and by many other names related to their tribes.
The question is, when and where from they came to America? According to anthropologists, they came in America approximately 12-14 thousands years ago, from Eurasia, via Beringia, a land bridge between eastern edge of Siberia (Russia) and western edge of Alaska, USA. This migration was in three or more waves. Then in a large span of time, they traveled toward south and spread all over North, Central and South America. They were divided in regional groups and tribes.
This theory of the origin of Native Americans is supported by DNA tests of skeletons found across American Continent, Genetic relations between Asians and Native Americans, Archaeological evidences, as well as the linguistic evidences. However, there are other theories indicating that all Native Americans did not come from Asia.
There have been several models for the human settlement of America proposed by various academic communities. The question of how, when and why humans (Paleo-Indians) first entered the Americas is of intense interest to archaeologists and anthropologists, and has been a subject of heated debate for centuries. Modern biochemical techniques, as well as more thorough archaeology, have shed progressively more light on the subject.
Current understanding of human migration to and throughout the Americas derives from advances in four interrelated disciplines: archeology, physical anthropology, DNA analysis and linguistics. While there is general agreement that America was first settled from Asia by people who migrated across Beringia, the pattern of migration, its timing, and the place of origin in Asia of the peoples who migrated to America remains unclear. Read more ...
Americas 'settled in three waves' BBC - July 13, 2012
The biggest survey of Native American DNA has concluded that the New World was settled in three major waves. But the majority of today's indigenous Americans descend from a single group of migrants that crossed from Asia to Alaska 15,000 years ago or more. Previous genetic data have lent support to the idea that America was colonized by a single migrant wave. An international team of researchers have published their findings in the journal Nature.
Native American populations descend from three key migrations PhysOrg - July 12, 2012
Scientists have found that Native American populations - from Canada to the southern tip of Chile - arose from at least three migrations, with the majority descended entirely from a single group of First American migrants that crossed over through Beringia, a land bridge between Asia and America that existed during the ice ages, more than 15,000 years ago.
In recent years researchers have sought to use familiar tools to validate or reject established theories such as Clovis first. As new discoveries come to light, past hypotheses are reevaluated and new theories constructed. The archeological evidence suggests that the Paleo-Indians' first "widespread" habitation of America occurred during the end of the last glacial period or, more specifically, what is known as the late glacial maximum, around 16,500-13,000 years ago. Read more ...
Oregon stone tools enliven 'earliest Americans' debate BBC - July 13, 2012
Scientists studying how North America was first settled have found stone spearheads and darts in Oregon, US, that date back more than 13,000 years. The hunting implements, which are of the "Western Stemmed" tradition, are at least as old as the famous Clovis tools thought for a long time to belong to the continent's earliest inhabitants. Precise carbon dating of dried human feces discovered alongside the stone specimens tied down their antiquity.
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