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In the mornings, a thin crust of ice glazes the shallows of the Champlain Sea on the border of what is now northern New England. For the small groups of people who make their home here at the water’s edge—fishing, hunting birds, and harvesting crustaceans—it is the end of the warm season. The seasonal move will start soon.

Every fall they go inland, away from the glacial front and the impending harsh weather, following the birds and the migrating wildlife. They pack up the hides they use for shelter, their warm clothing, hunting and household gear, and with their children trek downstream along the large rivers that drain to the south and east. On the way they make mental notes of outcrops of rock suitable for toolmaking, and of animal trails and vegetation that point to food. There will be snow hare, deer, caribou, and beaver to sustain them on the journey. 

  (illustration) Paleoindians capturing birds with net.
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(photo) Agricultural field and bordering woodland.

Rural New Jersey location of the Plenge Paleoindian site.