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The Earliest AmericansEarliest Americans home >> Print text
LOOKING FOR LANDMARKS >> NEW VIEWS PROFILE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE A LASTING DEBT
   

Over 40 years ago specialists led by archeologist H. Marie Wormington nominated the first earliest American sites as National Historic Landmarks. That pioneering initiative—which mirrored the then-prevailing view of the first inhabitants as big game hunters on the western prairies—bestowed landmark status on New Mexico’s Clovis and Folsom sites, along with nine other properties, all west of the Mississippi Valley.

But the western focus left gaps in understanding as well as representation. The study underpinning this web site–which casts a net for landmarks east of the Mississippi–promises to change that. Discoveries by interdisciplinary teams are shining new light on Ice Age human ecology. Recovery of fish scales, charred nutshells, and other delicate plant and animal remains permit detailed reconstructions of what people ate and how their bodies endured the environmental tumult of the Ice Age. 

  (photo) Screening for artifacts at an eastern site.

The Search for      
the Big Game      
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(photo) Two hands with small pick.
(photo) Whisk broom with stone artifact.

Archeologist exposes details of early life in Virginia.

MJB/EJL