The Great Journey

Book Details

Author  Brian M. Fagan
Publisher  University Press of Florida
Publication Date   June 30, 2004
ISBN  081302756X
Pages  304

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Description

From reviews of the first edition:

"Most of us are acquainted with the European discovery of America, but how and when did American Indians occupy the continent? That's the fascinating puzzle Fagan discusses here--and he reveals himself as a meticulous, skeptical researcher. . . . The upshot is an informative, balanced, and often exciting account."--Kirkus

"This is an admirable introduction to questions that have exercised men ever since the discovery of the Americas."--New York Times Book Review

"For fans of Jean M. Auel's best-selling novels, Fagan's book provides a much-needed and up-to-date summary of the facts on which her books about Ice Age humans are loosely based."--Los Angeles Times

How, where, when, and why did human beings take the first steps in their journey to populate North America? First published in 1987, The Great Journey tells the story of the search for the first Americans--one of archaeology's great controversies. An enhanced edition of this dramatic narrative and real-life mystery follows the trail of evidence from the Old World to the New, beginning with an update on the debates and discoveries that have taken place since the late 1980s. Fagan presents the latest archaeological findings on both sides of the Bering Strait, new genetic and linguistic research that amplifies earlier theories, and he assesses the importance of global warming to first settlement.

The saga of how Asians came across the Bering Sea land bridge begins with the emergence of modern humans in tropical Africa some 150,000 years ago. Fagan describes the great Homo sapiens diaspora, which included the settlement of America, during the late Ice Age. He evaluates the various routes that brought Stone Age hunter-gatherers from Siberia into North America and beyond.

This magnificently readable book, widely regarded as a classic of archaeological writing, sets forth different scenarios for first settlement, the controversies over the extinction of large Ice Age animals, and a brief overview of cultural developments since the time of the Paleo-Indians. Lavishly illustrated with maps, photographs, and line drawings, the updated edition of The Great Journey offers an entertaining yet sober assessment of what we know about the first
Americans.

Brian M. Fagan is emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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