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North America & Montana Pre-History

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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.
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