The Paleo-Indian (or Lithic) Period is a stage in archeological chronology that covers the First human habitation of the Americas. It consisted of small groups of hunter-gatherers which entered the area when ice-free corridors developed. They used stone tools.

It includes remains of both Clovis and pre-Clovis cultures, of which the latter is further explained in a separate connection: “Pre-Clovis archaeological sites in the Americas”.

The Paleo-Indian is followed by the Archaic period, when agriculture was developed and people started settling down in larger groups. The Archaic started around 8,000-7,000 BCE (timelines differ per region, can be later, up to 3,500 BCE).

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Caves of Yagul and Mitla Caves of Yagul, including Guilá Naquitz ("Humans lived in the cave six separate timeframes from about 10,750 to 8,900 years BP and again from about 1,300 to 500 years BP. The earlier inhabitants were pre-ceramic hunter-gatherers who lived in the cave only from August to October–December.", wiki)
Chiribiquete National Park Rock Paintings: "the “Abrigo del Arco” site has been dated to 19,500 BCE" (AB ev)
Cueva de las Manos "dating of the occupation of the Río Pinturas rock shelter, which has been established by excavation and radiocarbon analysis to c 9300 BP" (AB ev)
El Pinacate first occupation 20,000 years BP (wiki); "Human occupation in El Pinacate y Grand Desierto de Altar dates back to approximately 40,000 years ago (Hayden, 1976, 1998). In this place, the occupation and abandonment of land, and therefore the use of natural resources, has been linked to periods of drought." (nom file)
Mammoth Cave "Pre-Columbian Indians of four cultural periods occupied the park and its environs. These peoples - Mississippian, Woodland, Archaic, and Paleo-Indian - hunted in the area that is now the park and lived in cave entrances, beneath rock shelters, and near riverbanks." Nomination File
Poverty Point "On site, the Paleoindian period (13,000–10,000 BP) is attested to by a small quantity of artifacts of non-local stone." (AB ev)
Rio Abiseo National Park "Excavations at Manachaqui Cave, ..., recovered evidence of very early human occupation, Two AMS dates calibrated to approximately 12,200 and 11,900 BP" (wiki)
Serra da Capivara "The site must have been populated by the early men who populated the American continent." Rock art dated 26,000 - 22,000 years B.C. (AB evaluation)


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  5. Be explained, with reference to a source