Learn about the Beringia Land Bridge

hey there my name is Kaeleigh and today we're going to learn about the migration

of the first people in the americas

the first people in the americas sometimes called

native americans or indigenous peoples lived in north and south america long

before people from european countries came to settle on the continents but

where did they come from let's take a look at the part of the

globe where alaska a part of the united states is closest

to russia today the two countries are separated by

a body of water known as the bering sea

this is a satellite image of the same area

where the two land masses are closest together

the body of water is called the bering strait

alaska is to the east and russia is to the west

the narrowest distance between the two land masses

is about 55 miles roughly 20 000 years ago an ice age

and lower sea levels caused much of the land to be exposed

scientists call this ancient land mass beringia

or the bering land bridge this is what they think a map would have looked like

20 000 years ago the ocean levels were lower

because most of the ocean's water was stored in glaciers

this left more land exposed than we see today

the tan areas on this map show where the land formed a natural bridge

called a land bridge people from asia were able to travel between the

continents of asia and north america by foot

let's look at how the people traveled over the beringia

land bridge remember all of this water was frozen solid

so they could walk from russia across the bering land bridge

and end up in alaska eventually these people and their descendants would

make their way down through canada and into the united states some settled

in different places in canada and the u.s others kept traveling down

to mexico some settled here as well but others

kept going through central america and into south

america they traveled for thousands of miles on

foot this type of travel where large numbers

of humans are moving from one region to another

is called migration people migrate for a variety of reasons if they need new food

sources they're fleeing from war or they need more natural resources like

wood sometimes they just need to find new

land and more space

anthropologists are scientists who study ancient people

and their civilizations anthropologists generally agree that many of

the native tribes that lived in north and south america

came from people who lived in what is now eastern russia

they have studied dna from tribal people who now live

in the u.s mexico and several south american countries

their dna profiles match that of people living

in eastern russia today

another find by archaeologists scientists who study ancient settlements

that help them support the theory of migration between asia and north america

were metal objects made of bronze these were found in alaska but tribes in

alaska at that time didn't have access to the

technology metals or knowledge to make these

objects so archaeologists think that they traded

them with people from asia similar objects have been found in dig

sites in eastern asia scientists also use sophisticated

techniques to analyze jade artifacts like the mask in this

picture to link it to the asian continent rather

than the north american continent where it was found

great job learning about Beringia and the bearing

land bridge practice what you've learned by doing the online games and quizzes

have fun and remember to always be