Thames and Hudson, 1987. — 288 p. — ISBN 0-500-05045-7.Familiar as we are with air travel and instant communications, we may find it hard to imagine what it would be like to encounter a wholly new continent peopled by an unknown race. But that was the experience of the Spanish conquistadors in the New World nearly 500 years ago. Who, they wondered, were the mysterious "Indians?" Had their ancestors always lived in America? If not, where had they come from - and how and when had they first arrived? The Bible gave no firm answers. From the sixteenth century on, cranks, scholars and religious zealots have locked horns on the subject. Now, however, modern science has a story to unfold every bit as exciting as tales linking the first Americans with Atlantis or the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. The Great Journey is an account of the longest and most demanding trek in history - the peopling of ancient America. Over hundreds of thousands of years, early humans hunted their way from tropical homelands in Africa, across Asia to the frontiers of the arctic and the gateway to America. In so doing they had to learn how to make fire, to sew warm clothing, and to hunt the formidable mammoth. With these hard-won skills they conquered the last great unpeopled continent on earth and established a big-game hunting way of life that flourished at the end of the Ice Age. Their descendants created the rich array of cultures found by Columbus. Brian Fagan marshalls his evidence like a master of detective fiction. Piece by piece he fits together the jigsaw of clues, from frozen mammoths in Siberia to painted caves in Brazil, from sunken land bridges, genetics, and the evolution of teeth to the replication of ancient flint-knapping and bison butchery techniques. Throughout, the controversial questions posed by modern archaeology are kept in the forefront. Did the first settlers arrive 100,000, 50,000 or 15,000 years ago? Was their crossing via the Bering Strait or over the broad expanse of the Pacific? This magnificently readable book, fully illustrated with maps, photographs and reconstruction drawings, gives the most authoritative and up-to-date account of the first Americans yet produced. With 126 illustrations.
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