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Maudslay, and of institutions such as the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard University, led to the reconsideration and criticism of the European sources.

Now, the scholarly study of pre-Columbian cultures is most often based on scientific and multidisciplinary methodologies.

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.

The vastness of the North American continent, and the variety of its climates, ecology, vegetation, fauna, and landforms, led ancient peoples to coalesce into many distinct linguistic and cultural groups.

Some genetic studies estimate the colonization of the Americas dates from between 40,000 and 13,000 years ago.

The chronology of migration models is currently divided into two general approaches.

Before the development of archaeology in the 19th century, historians of the pre-Columbian period mainly interpreted the records of the European conquerors and the accounts of early European travelers and antiquaries.

It was not until the nineteenth century that the work of men such as John Lloyd Stephens, Eduard Seler and Alfred P.The first is the short chronology theory with the first movement beyond Alaska into the New World occurring no earlier than 14,000–17,000 years ago, followed by successive waves of immigrants.and accordingly humans have been proposed to have reached Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America by this time.Asian nomads are thought to have entered the Americas via the Bering Land Bridge (Beringia), now the Bering Strait and possibly along the coast.Genetic evidence found in Amerindians' maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mt DNA) supports the theory of multiple genetic populations migrating from Asia.Indigenous American cultures continue to evolve after the pre-Columbian era.