Thursday, September 13, 2007

Native Americans and Subsistence in the Great Plains of North America 10,000 Years Ago
When the ancestors of today’s Native American, Alaskan Natives, and First Nation peoples migrated to the North American continent, the variety and types of animals encountered were very different than those of northeast Asia. In North America these early migrants had to learn how to hunt and subsist not only in a new land, but also on new plants and animals. Yet, as is well established, these early Native Americans were excellent innovators, and shortly after migrating to North America had learned how to flourish in their new land. What these early Native Americans hunted, how they moved across the land, and what their general lifeway pattern looked like has always been of interest to archaeologists, anthropologists, and others researching the peopling of the Americas. To investigate these questions, researchers have come up with several ingenious methods, one of which is called “prey choice.” Prey choice is the examination and analysis of the animals found in archaeological sites (the prey) in order to gain insights into the diet, subsistence technologies, and general lifeway patterns (the choice) of these early Native Americans.

It's actually a pretty good summary of the evolution of views on Paleoindian subsistence.