- from Southwest Peoples
The first people who lived in the Americas are called Paleo-Indians (ancient Indians). Because they lived so long ago, we have little evidence of their way of life.
They probably wandered around, looking for game and edible plants. During the Ice Age, they hunted giant mastodons, mammoths, and long-horned bison. The climate became warmer when the Ice Age ended, about 10,000 years ago, and those large mammals died off. For the next several thousand years, the people of the Southwest gradually 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, raising turkeys for meat and for their eggs and feathers. Three distinct civilizations arose: the Anasazi, the Hohokam, and the Mogollon.