Many of these peoples and their descendants continue traditional practices while evolving and adapting new cultural practices and technologies into their lives.
Before the development of archaeology in the 19th century, historians of the pre-Columbian period mainly interpreted the records of the European conquerors and the accounts of early European travelers and antiquaries.
The chronology of migration models is currently divided into two general approaches.
The first is the short chronology theory with the first movement beyond Alaska into the New World occurring no earlier than 14,000–17,000 years ago, followed by successive waves of immigrants.
In areas of Latin America the term usually used is Pre-Hispanic.The Pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continent, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during the Early Modern period.While the phrase "pre-Columbian era" literally refers only to the time preceding Christopher Columbus's voyages of 1492, in practice the phrase is usually used to denote the entire history of indigenous Americas cultures until those cultures were exterminated, diminished, or extensively altered by Europeans, even if this happened decades or centuries after Columbus's first landing.Now, the scholarly study of pre-Columbian cultures is most often based on scientific and multidisciplinary methodologies.Asian nomads are thought to have entered the Americas via the Bering Land Bridge (Beringia), now the Bering Strait and possibly along the coast.It was not until the nineteenth century that the work of men such as John Lloyd Stephens, Eduard Seler and Alfred P.Maudslay, and of institutions such as the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard University, led to the reconsideration and criticism of the European sources.late 16th–early 17th centuries), and are known only through archaeological investigations and oral history.Other civilizations were contemporary with the colonial period and were described in European historical accounts of the time.Over the course of thousands of years, paleo-Indian people domesticated, bred and cultivated a number of plant species.These species were very nutritious, and they now constitute 50–60% of all crops in cultivation worldwide.The Paleo-Indians were hunter-gatherers, likely characterized by small, mobile bands consisting of approximately 20 to 50 members of an extended family.These groups moved from place to place as preferred resources were depleted and new supplies were sought. These included distinctive projectile points and knives, as well as less distinctive implements used for butchering and hide processing.However, older sites dating back to 20,000 years ago have been claimed.