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Flashcards in Pre-Columbian Societies Deck (10)
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About 40,000 years ago, migrants began arriving in the Americas over the _____ _____ _____.

Bering Land Bridge

Many archeologists believe that tribes of hunter-gatherers crossed over dry land which once connected Siberia with Alaska, as a result of a drop in sea levels during the Pleistocene Ice Age. This migration is estimated to have taken place between 40,000 and 20,000 years ago.


What was Vinland?

Vinland was a colony in Newfoundland settled by Leif Ericson and the Norsemen (modern-day Scandinavians) in 1000 A.D.  Though it was abandoned shortly thereafter, it is considered the first European colony in North America.


What were the three most important Mesoamerican Indian empires?

The three most important Mesoamerican Indian empires were the Aztecs (Mexico), the Olmec (Mexico), and the Maya (Mexico). These cultures were known for their sophisticated art, architecture, mathematics, calendars, writing systems, and irrigation methods.

Many people believe that though the Mayans knew the wheel, they didn't use it for farming until Europeans introduced them to draft animals.


Who were the Anasazi?

Located in modern-day Arizona and New Mexico, the Anasazi peoples created sophisticated networks of pueblos, cliff dwellings, roads, and canals for irrigation. The Anasazi civilization collapsed after 1150 due to severe and long-lasting droughts.


Where was Cahokia?

Cahokia was located on the banks of the Mississippi River, near modern-day St. Louis, and was characterized by massive burial mounds. 

Cahokia was the largest urban concentration of Indians north of Mexico. Before it was abandoned in circa 1400 A.D., some 40,000 people were estimated to have lived there.


Describe the culture of the Native American tribes along the upper Atlantic seaboard.

Known as Woodland Tribes, most Indians in these areas moved seasonally. Women were primarily responsible for agricultural production, while the men hunted and fished. 


What was the primary dietary staple for Indians in both North and South America?

Maize, otherwise known as corn.

Indians also raised potatoes and tomatoes.  


How did the North American Indians view property rights?

With the exception of a few tribes, individual land ownership was virtually unknown. Most tribes did claim territorial lands for hunting and gathering, to the exclusion of other tribes. Among many of the Woodland Tribes, inheritance was matrilineal. 


Prior to the arrival of Columbus, where was most of the population of the New World concentrated?

Most of the population of the New World was concentrated in Central and South America, where civilizations such as the Maya, Aztecs, and Incas flourished.


What was the Iroquois Confederacy?

Founded around 1451, the Iroquois Confederacy was a loose political alliance of five Indian nations. Impressed by the wisdom of this government, Europeans referred to them as the "Romans of the New World."

The Confederacy continued until it was finally destroyed during the American Revolution.