- from Southwest Peoples
Scientists call the first people who lived in the Americas Paleo-Indians (ancient Indians). Because they existed so long ago, we do not know much about their lives.
They probably wandered from place to place in search of game and plants to eat. During the Ice Age, they hunted giant mastodons, mammoths, and long-horned bison. When the Ice Age ended, about 10,000 years ago, the climate got warmer. The large mammals died off. For the next several thousand years, the people who lived in the Southwest slowly adapted to the hotter, drier climate. They gathered wild plants for food and hunted bison, deer, and jackrabbits. Around 4,000 years ago, the hunters and gatherers began to plant beans, corn, and squash. They settled down in farming communities. They raised turkeys to eat and for their eggs and feathers. Three separate civilizations arose: the Anasazi, the Hohokam, and the Mogollon.