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North America & Montana Pre-History. Early Montana Pre-Historic Peoples Migration Routes Early People of Present-Day Montana. After the Dinosaurs Huge Mammals Roamed the Americas…. Large Pre-Historic Animals. Woolly mammoth Mastodon Steppe bison Giant ground sloth Giant beaver

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North america montana pre history

North America & Montana Pre-History

Early Montana

Pre-Historic Peoples

Migration Routes

Early People of Present-Day Montana

Large pre historic animals
Large Pre-Historic Animals

  • Woolly mammoth

  • Mastodon

  • Steppe bison

  • Giant ground sloth

  • Giant beaver

  • North American horse

  • Camel

  • Saber Tooth Cat

Migration s

  • Multiple migrations of pre-historic peoples from Asia

  • 12,000-30,000 years ago

  • Land Bridge (Beringia)

    • -original theory, most widely accepted

  • Coastal Routes by sea

    • -additional routes

    • -recent research seems to confirm multiple routes

  • Paleo-Indians/Clovis People

Land Bridge


North America



How do we know this stuff
How do we know this stuff?

  • Archaeologists and geologists study layers or strata in the earth (bottom layers are older, top layers are newer)

  • Radiocarbon dating (tests organic materials to determine age)

  • DNA & Linguistics (compares DNA and languages to find connections between people in different parts of the world)







Creation stories
Creation Stories

  • Each Indian tribe today has its own creation story.

  • Passed down through oral traditions

  • Some call them legends or myths, but many tribal members believe in these creation stories like members of any other religion.

  • Many tribes believe they were always here based on their creation stories.

Who were the 1 st americans where did they originate
Who were the 1st Americans?Where did they originate?

  • Differing theories

Kennewick man
Kennewick Man

  • Skeleton found near Kennewick, Washington ½ buried in Columbia River bank

  • Approx 9300 years old

  • Unique (“Caucasian” features?)

  • Umatilla Indian Tribe objected to examination of skeleton

  • Indian Grave Repatriation Act

  • Evidence links ancestry to Japan

Movin to montana
Movin’ to Montana

  • Pre-Historic peoples arrived in MT about 12,000 years ago (10,000 B.C.)

  • People were highly mobile and lived in small groups, which was better for hunting

  • Followed herds of Mammoth

  • Before 1600 the only tribes to live in MT were in the western mountains

    • Kootenai

    • Flathead or Salish

Pre historic indian ancestors
Pre-Historic Indian Ancestors

  • Paleo-Indian or Clovis people

  • Hunter/Gatherers

  • Named for shape they gave their spear points