The First North Americans: An Archaeological Journey

The First North Americans: An Archaeological Journey

Brian M. Fagan / Jan 16, 2021

The First North Americans An Archaeological Journey This new history of North America is based mainly on archaeology but also on cutting edge research in many scientific disciplines from biology and climatology to ethnohistory and high tech chemistry

  • Title: The First North Americans: An Archaeological Journey
  • Author: Brian M. Fagan
  • ISBN: 9780500021200
  • Page: 304
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This new history of North America is based mainly on archaeology, but also on cutting edge research in many scientific disciplines, from biology and climatology to ethnohistory and high tech chemistry and physics Brian Fagan describes the controversies over first settlement, which likely occurred via Siberia at the end of the Ice Age, and the debates over the routes usedThis new history of North America is based mainly on archaeology, but also on cutting edge research in many scientific disciplines, from biology and climatology to ethnohistory and high tech chemistry and physics Brian Fagan describes the controversies over first settlement, which likely occurred via Siberia at the end of the Ice Age, and the debates over the routes used as humans moved southward into the heart of the continent A remarkable diversity of hunter gatherer societies evolved in the rapidly changing North American environments, and the book explores the ingenious ways in which people adapted to every kind of landscape imaginable, from arctic tundra to open plains and thick woodland.Professor Fagan recounts the increasingly sophisticated acclimation by Native Americans to arctic, arid and semiarid lands, culminating in the spectacular Ancestral Pueblo societies of the Southwest and the elaborate coastal settlements of California and the Pacific Northwest He then traces the origins of the Moundbuilder societies of the Eastern Woodlands, which reached their apogee in the flamboyant Mississippian culture of the South and Southeast and the mounds of the ancient city of Cahokia The book ends with a description of the Algonquian and Iroquoian peoples of the Northeast and St Lawrence Valley, and an epilogue that enumerates the devastating consequences of European contact for Native Americans.

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    About "Brian M. Fagan"

      • Brian M. Fagan

        Brian Murray Fagan born 1 August 1936 is a prolific author of popular archaeology books and a professor emeritus of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, California, USA Fagan was born in England where he received his childhood education at Rugby School He attended Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he studied archaeology and anthropology BA 1959, MA 1962, PhD 1965 He spent six years as Keeper of Prehistory at the Livingstone Museum in Zambia, Central Africa, and moved to the U.S.A in 1966 He was Visiting Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana, in 1966 67, and was appointed Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1967.Fagan is an archaeological generalist, with expertise in the broad issues of human prehistory He is the author or editor of 46 books, including seven widely used undergraduate college texts Fagan has contributed over 100 specialist papers to many national and international journals He is a Contributing Editor to American Archaeology and Discover Archaeology magazines, and formerly wrote a regular column for Archaeology Magazine He serves on the Editorial Boards of six academic and general periodicals and has many popular magazine credits, including Scientific American and Gentleman s Quarterly.Fagan has been an archaeological consultant for many organizations, including National Geographic Society, Time Life, Encyclop dia Britannica, and Microsoft Encarta He has lectured extensively about archaeology and other subjects throughout the world at many venues, including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the National Geographic Society, the San Francisco City Lecture Program, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Getty Conservation Institute.In addition to extensive experience with the development of Public Television programs, Fagan was the developer writer of Where in time is Carmen San Diego, an NPR series in 1984 86 He has worked as a consultant for the BBC, RKO, and many Hollywood production companies on documentaries In 1995 he was Senior Series Consultant for Time Life Television s Lost Civilizations series.Fagan was awarded the 1996 Society of Professional Archaeologists Distinguished Service Award for his untiring efforts to bring archaeology in front of the public He also received a Presidential Citation Award from the Society for American Archaeology in 1996 for his work in textbook, general writing and media activities He received the Society s first Public Education Award in 1997.He has written many critiques of contemporary archaeology and has advocated non traditional approaches, as well as writing extensively on the role of archaeology in contemporary society His approach is a melding of different theoretical approaches, which focuses on the broad issues of human prehistory and the past He is a strong advocate of multidisciplinary approaches to such issues as climate change in the past Over the years, he has written a series of well known textbooks that provide accurate summaries of the latest advances in archaeological method and theory and world prehistory These are designed for beginners and avoid both confusing jargon and major theoretical discussion, which is inappropriate at this basic level His approach melds traditional cultural history with recent approaches, with a major emphasis on writing historical narrative using archaeological data and sources from other disciplines Fagan is also well known for his public lectures on a wide variety of archaeological and historical topics, delivered to a broad range of archaeological and non archaeological audiences.Additional information at.


    770 Comments

    1. Fagan examines various cultures from the earliest known arrivals in North America through to contact with Europeans. The book is divided into two parts: Foundations covers the earlier hunter-gatherer societies, roughly to 1 AD, while Apogee looks at the later more specialized societies. The Clovis culture flourished for a short 250 years at around 13000 ya. Earlier cultures are few and are hard to trace. The author tends to divide the later cultures into the north, the west coast, the plains, th [...]


    2. OK, this is probably my bad for selecting this but Brian Fagan pretty well mailed this one in. He writes in the preface, "I wrote this book in the belief that the time was ripe for a short, narrative account of ancient North America" Yet, the book never really narrates much of anything beyond a succession of declarative statements of what and when, while declining to delve into any meaningful who, why, and how. He also suggests that there are a lot of new discoveries and interpretations in this [...]


    3. I like the book a great deal for it's thoroughness and portrayal of the life and times of the first North Americans. It was great at revealing details of such deeply-rooted concepts, such as clovis points and maize farming. At the same time, I realized during the second half of the book that I was more interested in some specific groups, and not others - so it was easy for me to find my way to just those chapters for silo reading. And that is the only reason I did not rate this book higher: it i [...]


    4. Fagan covers many different groups of First peoples (paleo to european contact) and in the process provides a clear depiction each society's respective culture and the archaeological evidence that makes such a depiction possible. The different pictures and aside panels break up the text in a way that makes the book feel like a quick read, yet when I got to the end I felt like I had developed a pretty good foundation on which I could build a more in-depth understanding of the Native peoples of No [...]


    5. Decent overview of the current views on the history of people in North America (although he doesn't include Mexico, strangely). While it is fascinating how archaeologists and other scientists can stitch together stories from bits and pieces, it's frustrating the number times I read "Nobody knows" or "perhaps they did this because." Still, intriguing glimpses of the lives people lead for the last 15,000 years.


    6. This book was well organized and highly informative, but also a crushing bore that took me forever to get through. A dry, lengthy compendium of names, dates, and locations - this is the type of stuff that turns people off from the study of history altogether.


    7. Excellent overview of everything we know right now about the settlement of North America, from the first people to cross the Bering land bridge over 15,000 years ago, through to contact with the Europeans who came from the other direction.



    8. pretty dry written with general reader in mind but really only for those who have a deep interest in the subject to begin with.


    9. Fascinating, well-researched and suitable for the lay reader. Recent discoveries indicate some real mysteries as to when North America was first explored and settled.




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