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A few, such as the Maya civilization, had their own written records.Because many Christian Europeans of the time viewed such texts as heretical, men like Diego de Landa destroyed many texts in pyres, even while seeking to preserve native histories.Over the course of thousands of years, paleo-Indian people domesticated, bred and cultivated a number of plant species.These species were very nutritious, and they now constitute 50–60% of all crops in cultivation worldwide.Many pre-Columbian civilizations established hallmarks which included permanent settlements, cities, agriculture, civic and monumental architecture, major earthworks, and complex societal hierarchies.Some of these civilizations had long faded by the time of the first permanent European colonies and the arrival of enslaved Africans (c.
In that case, the Eskimo peoples would have arrived separately and at a much later date, probably no more than 2,000 years ago, moving across the ice from Siberia into Alaska.
The Paleo-Indians were hunter-gatherers, likely characterized by small, mobile bands consisting of approximately 20 to 50 members of an extended family.
These groups moved from place to place as preferred resources were depleted and new supplies were sought. These included distinctive projectile points and knives, as well as less distinctive implements used for butchering and hide processing.
As early as 6500 BCE, people in the Lower Mississippi Valley at the Monte Sano site were building complex earthwork mounds, probably for religious purposes.
This is the earliest dated of numerous mound complexes found in present-day Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.