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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

For more than 50 years, North American archaeologists have largely accepted a simple evolutionary relationship between late Pleistocene Paleoindian societies and early Holocene Archaic societies. The conventional scenario saw small bands of big-game hunters entering the New World and passing through an ice-free corridor to spread throughout interior North America and eventually reach the tip of South America, in just a few hundred years. These were presumed to be the ancestral population for all subsequent Holocene Archaic societies. With increasing acceptance of the radiocarbon dates at Monte Verde and Meadowcroft Rockshelter, along with additional recent evidence (e.g., Paisley Cave, Topper, and Gault), this paradigm is no longer viable. Instead, many scholars accept New World colonization by potentially much earlier coastal populations relying on maritime resources.

Keywords: Eastern Woodlands, evolutionary relationship, late Pleistocene, Paleoindian societies, big-game hunters, Holocene Archaic societies

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